Talk of gun on campus alters school day at PRC High

Talk of gun on campus alters school day at PRC High
Security on campus was heightened, and access was limited to entrances for buses and drivers only. (Photo source: WLOX)
Security on campus was heightened, and access was limited to entrances for buses and drivers only. (Photo source: WLOX)

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Normally, students at Pearl River Central High School start their day in a classroom. Friday, they were greeted by police officers who searched every student for weapons.

This was in response to a rumor on social media that a student was going to bring a gun to school. Ultimately, no weapons were found, but officials say it was a risk they simply couldn't ignore.

The lobby at Pearl River Central High School looked a lot like the baggage check area at an airport Friday. School district leaders made that transformation to ensure the campus remained violence free.

"It was a little different. I never had to get off the bus and go through metal detectors and everybody search the bags. I do understand why they did it. It was worth it," said PRC High School senior Anthony Wormser.

School district leaders say the post on the social media site Yik Yak didn't directly threaten any student or teacher on campus, but it did contain a message that officials couldn't take lightly.

"It was just students posting, 'I heard there would be a gun on campus. I heard this I heard that.' So, it was a lot of hearsay, but anytime you have that hearsay where the words weapon or gun, we're going to take that very seriously, and we're going to make sure our students are safe here," explained Alan Lumpkin, Superintendent of Pearl River County Schools.

It was a major show of force. Security on campus was heightened, and access was limited to entrances for buses and drivers only.

"We contacted the sheriff's department, David Allison sent out about nine officers. Combined with our three officers, we had 12 law enforcement officers on campus this morning," Lumpkin said.

It took about an hour to clear every student, and classes started about 30 minutes late.

Senior Anthony Wormser resents the post and the person behind it.

"I kind of don't like it. It's not really fair to the other people, but I can't imagine anybody ever bringing a gun to this campus," said Wormser.

School leaders say when it comes to student-teacher safety, they can take no chances.

There have been similar posts on Yik Yak that created havoc at USM. Lumpkin says his concern is that people can post and remain anonymous.

He says law enforcers are investigating PRC's incident and plan to prosecute guilty parties.

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