Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

January 19, 2013

School safe despite rumors

AMERICUS — Despite rumors of possible violent acts taking place at Americus-Sumter County High School South Campus Thursday, the school grounds appeared calm and quiet. Around a dozen cars were parked in the drive in front of the schools, which appeared to be those of concerned parents, and a few students could be seen standing at the entry way facing Harrold Avenue.

Around 9:30 a.m. the school’s principal, Walter Knighton addressed the school over the intercom system, saying that the rumors were unfounded and for all students to return to class.

Sumter Schools superintendent Donnie Smith said Thursday afternoon that that he heard reports beginning in the early morning that there may be a gun at the school. “I got a phone call early in the morning from a parent about the possibility of threats,” he explained. By the time school started, the rumors had made their way to Facebook, but Smith told the Times-Recorder that the rumors put out were found to not be credible. He dispelled reports that the school had been put on lock-down. He said no arrests were made, no gun was found and there was never any eminent danger.

“You have to take everything seriously,” Smith said, referring to the tension around the country following mass public shootings. He said he, along with South Campus administrators as well as personnel from the central office, talked to parents and students Thursday morning to follow up on the rumors. Local law enforcement were also informed of the rumors and assisted school officials in the investigation.

Smith said in the coming weeks that more efforts will be made by the system’s administrators to ensure safety on the campuses.

“The only thing more important that teaching and learning is keeping the children and staff safe,” Smith said.

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