Rumors of potential shooting cause concern in Petoskey
PETOSKEY, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) -- Rumors of a potential shooting at Petoskey Public Schools caused dozens of parents to keep their kids at home Thursday, which was also the 18th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
The rumor that someone was planning a shooting started to circulate on social media on Wednesday.
Extra police cars patrolled the schools and the surrounding area Thursday.
Police took extra precaution, but determined that there was no real threat to the school.
“There were rumors of some type of school shooting at Petoskey High School, but at that time they had no specific threats," said Chief Matthew Breed of the Petoskey Department of Public Safety. "Nobody had made any threats to students or staff.”
The school has been working closely with police and they decided since there was no real threat, to go about the school day as usual.
“We have no credible threat, and we have not had a threat toward the school," said Petoskey Schools Superintendent John Scholten,"We’ll continue to monitor it. We’ll continue with our police presence. We rely a lot on their advice to us, and their advice to us, without a credible threat is that we just continue on.”
Many parents found out about the rumors Wednesday night, but most of them sent their kids to school as usual.
“I don’t think it was easy initially just hearing about it, but when you delve into it a little bit from the teachers and the staff, I felt a little safer about it." said Eve Rider, a Petoskey High School parent.
Even though police still haven't seen any real threat, Thursday they are still keeping an extra eye on the school.
“There are officers intermittently in and out of the schools," Chief Breed said. "Our detective spends a significant amount of time working with school staff. He will be there a few times today, and we’ll have an additional presence in and around the school. The safety of our students is our priority, paramount concern for us.”
"Between I think Facebook, texting between hearing about what the police said and the superintendent had said, we felt safe sending the kids," Rider said.
That wasn't the reaction of every parent.
Others kept their kids home for the day or picked them up early.
Superintendent Scholten said there were slightly more absences than usual Thursday.