PENDLETON – Rumors that a student had a gun and that a gun was fired at the homecoming ball at Pendleton Heights High School on Saturday night were untrue, school officials and law enforcement officials said. ‘order.
South Madison Community Schools Superintendent Mark Hall and Pendleton Police Chief Marc Farrer said there was no truth to the rumors.
“No firearms were recovered. There was a lot of misinformation on social media, ”Hall said. “A rumor kind of went through the crowd, and our students reacted to the rumor. It was quite chaotic. I was just glad the students were safe and the rumor wasn’t true.
He said he did not know how many students attended the dance, which was originally scheduled outside but moved inside the activity center due to the risk of rain.
The school’s resource officer and Pendleton police provided security for the ball, Hall said.
“When we have dances like that, we have the security that comes from different agencies,” he said.
Hall said his team had not yet had a chance to debrief the situation, but expects to do so later this week.
“It was a very special situation,” he said. “We will look at what went well and also what did not go well and make adjustments in the future. “
As for the reactions of the students as the rumors spread, Hall said, they were appropriate to the situation.
“Our kids have trained for years to react to situations like this,” Hall said. “Rumor or not, they reacted the way they were trained. In the end, everyone went home safe and sound.”
Farrer immediately posted on social media on Saturday night that there was no truth to the rumors. He was criticized by parents who felt he did not take their students’ concerns and feelings seriously.
Much of the department’s day is spent pursuing rumors of threats, he said, and the situation at the high school was no different and was investigated in the same manner as any other.
While the students may have been safe from guns, Farrer said, panic caused by a rumor like this can present a safety concern if students rush. Some students, he added, may have encountered Indiana 67 as they were fleeing the building.
“Parents need to talk to their kids about their reaction to this stuff,” Farrer said.