NORTH FORSYTH — School administrators said there was no credible threat to a Forsyth County high school after an incident Friday sparked rumors that students planned to bring weapons to campus Monday.
Rumors spread on social media throughout the weekend about students bringing guns and knives to North Forsyth High on Monday, according to a comment posted on the school’s Facebook page by Principal Jeff Cheney.
“This is related to an isolated conflict between a small number of students on Friday that school administration and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office have fully addressed with appropriate discipline,” Cheney said.
He also emailed parents the same message.
“He spent a deal of time on the phone with parents on Sunday who had concerns and had shared them on Facebook,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system. “The rumors [were] still present [Monday]. Right now there is a lot of misinformation being spread by texts to parents or on social media. Administrators are meeting with parents explaining.
“There is no threat against the school. Class remains open … Instruction is occurring in the classroom.”
According to Caracciolo, the rumor of guns and knives being brought to school transformed into “multiple variations,” none of which were directed at the campus or student body as a whole.
However, some parents still chose to keep their children away from the campus off Matt (Hwy. 369) and Dahlonega highways (Hwy. 9).
There were 508 students absent from school Monday and 89 early checkouts, which count as unexcused absences, Caracciolo said.
Some of the departures, though not all, were included in the 508 total depending on when they left.
As a comparison, Caracciolo said, 141 students were absent the Friday of the incident.
The “small number of students” involved in an “escalated incident” Friday were removed from school, though Caracciolo said no one was arrested Friday or Monday.
Those students were not at school Monday, she said.
The school district or individual schools cannot release details of student conduct or discipline, so it remains unclear what happened Friday and whether they have been suspended or expelled.
“There is increased law enforcement presence to ensure parents of the safety of the campus,” Caracciolo said.
No incidents were reported Monday, she said, “other than working to clear up rumors with parents and students.”
Those same rumors spread to nearby Little Mill Middle School, which feeds into North. But again, officials said, they were not credible.
Cheney wrote in an email that was sent to North parents after school that there had been no actual threat made to the campus.
“[Monday] we had a number of concerns brought forward by students and parents that were thoroughly investigated. Contrary to additional rumors, there were no incidents of concern or arrests made [Monday],” he wrote. “We encourage students to report concerns directly to school administration instead of furthering rumors on social media.”