The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

April 5, 2013

Social media spurs school threat rumor

No threat was made against Elkmont High School

Rumors alleging an Elkmont High School student made a threat against the school went viral despite being false, according to the superintendent of Limestone County Schools.

Dr. Tom Sisk said Elkmont Principal Stan Davis became aware of the situation Thursday, and conducted an immediate investigation leading to the accused student being cleared of any wrongdoing.

Despite the lack of an actual threat, Sisk said rumors continued to circulate through social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter.

Enough parents withheld their children from attending school Friday to prompt the Central Office to issue an automated AlertNow phone message to all Elkmont parents on Friday morning.

Sisk said the message was sent to allay parents’ concerns and dispel the rumors, which he characterized as “completely false.” He said an AlertNow message generally is not issued if there is not a threatening situation.

“The rumor of an alleged threat had no merit, and at no time was there any threat to the students or the school,” said Sisk, who does not regularly use social media. “When (social media) impacts instructional effectiveness, I become concerned … there are over 9,100 students and 1,200 employees in the school system, and we would have to hire someone just to monitor all of their Facebook accounts and Twitter (feeds).”

Sisk said access to Facebook has been made unavailable through the county's computer system primarily due to the amount of bandwith used by the social media web site.

Elkmont has 1,026 students in grades K-12 and 83 staff members, according to the school website. It was unclear how many students were absent Friday due to the rumors.

In addition to the Elkmont school resource officer, the Sheriff’s Office assigned two additional deputies on Friday as reassurance, Sisk said. The superintendent said the deputies were not on campus to monitor the student who allegedly made the threat.

Text Only
Local News


Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

     View Results
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee