Biloxi High upping security after rumors of violence on social media

Security guards from Swetman Security talk on Thursday at the main gate to the Biloxi High...
Security guards from Swetman Security talk on Thursday at the main gate to the Biloxi High School/Junior High campus.(John Fitzhugh)
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 11:45 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Students and employees at Biloxi High can expect to see more law enforcement officers patrolling the school grounds as administrators work to curb rumors of threats.

In a transparent letter to parents on Thursday, Biloxi Superintendent Marcus Boudreaux addressed recent rumors on social media that threats of gun violence have been made.

The rumored threats come after two recent, separate incidents in which guns have been found in the possession of a student. Last week, a student was found with an unloaded gun at the bus stop. One week later, a Biloxi High student was found with a loaded gun.

After the second incident, which happened Tuesday, rumors on Facebook began circulating about the threat of gun violence, with some posts saying there was going to be a shooting on Friday, while others said the recent problems were going to be “aired out.”

School officials say they are taking these rumors very seriously.

“In an abundance of caution, we are collaborating with the Biloxi Police Department and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and have additional patrols on campus. These officers are in addition to the three School Resource Officers and security guards that are already on campus daily,” wrote Boudreaux.

He continued: “We have been open and honest during this process because we know that our community deserves that transparency. Together, we have forged an amazing school system and community. I implore parents to work with us and not allow the actions of a small few to be detrimental to our positive school environment.”

In addition to being the superintendent, Boudreaux said he is also the father of two children at Biloxi High.

“I have a deep love for this community... Nothing pains me more than sending messages like this,” he said.

“Our community and school district will rise to this challenge and Biloxi High School will continue to be a beacon of academic excellence and provide an environment that is safe and welcoming for all students. I would like to thank parents, students, staff, and the community for your help and concerns. Together we will overcome this obstacle and continue being an excellent school district and community. We are stronger than the few and we will overcome.”

Biloxi Public Schools has a “zero tolerance” policy for weapons. According to the student handbook:

“’Zero tolerance’ means that any child with a weapon will be recommended by the principal for expulsion by the School Board. A weapon is any item which can inflict harm, no matter how minor. Therefore, it does not matter that the knife is small or that it can inflict harm only with force. The word weapon may also include fake guns, toy guns, or knives, because fear of injury in a school is simply unacceptable. ‘Zero Tolerance’ also applies to drugs as covered in the student handbook.

Zero tolerance applies to everyone. It does not matter that your child is in elementary school or has other special circumstances. It does not matter that the weapon was mistakenly brought to school or something the child found on the way to school. It does not matter that it was never intended to do harm. This policy is very important to your child’s education. Therefore, if you suspect that your child is unable to understand this rule, then you should check his/her book bags and pockets before leaving for school.”

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