MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Rumors of a student with a gun at Moss Point High School are not true. That's according to Moss Point acting Police Chief Brandon Ashley.
Police came to the school to deal with an incident between two students, and their presence started numerous rumors of a gun at the school. Parents lined up Friday afternoon to pick up their children at Moss Point High School after reports of a student with a gun were proven false..
The police department's patrol division and the district's school resource officers searched the entire school, which resulted in students being placed on a brief lockdown Friday morning.
"My first block, they were just flipping out," said student Jordan Parker. "They said somebody had a gun possibly ... I don't know if it was this girl spreading rumors or not, but that's just what they were saying." Parker said he had a strong reaction as well. "At first, I wasn't scared. But in the classroom, I ain't gonna lie, I was kind of intimidated a little bit because there's people I don't even know or talk to or anything. I don't know what they do in their lives."
Chief Ashley told WLOX that it was a false report and that no gun was found on the grounds of the school. After questioning students, Chief Ashley said they do not believe that anyone actually saw a student with a gun and that the rumor was completely unfounded.
Moss Point officials said it started with a fight between two students Thursday on a bus. Another student reported the incident Friday to school officials, who called Moss Point Police to assist.
"We got the players out of class to make sure there were no weapons or anything like that involved," said Rochelle Harris, Chief of the Moss Point School District police. "We didn't have anything on campus."
And then social media kicked in.
"When you see police officers, then kids start using their cell phones to text and call and it went - it just spread like that," Harris added. "We have social media that helps us and hurts us."
In a written statement superintendent Dr. Shannon Vincent said: "Because of the threat of a possible weapon and the incident that occurred in Florida on Valentine's Day, we made immediate contact with the Moss Point Police Department to ensure that all students were safe. During our safety drill and search, students remained in class and items were checked. After the completion of all safety procedures, there was NOT a weapon found on campus and class changes resumed at the normal second block time."
In many ways what happened at Moss Point High School was a success story. A student saw something and said something, and school officials reacted. But, what they couldn't control were the rumors from social media. There was a high level of anxiety in the air.
The district said the safety of its students and the staff are the number one priority at all times. They also ask any students, parents, staff or community members who may have information about any incident happening at the school to please report it immediately. For reports being made after school hours, safety resource officers can be reached at 228-285-2037.