Police: ‘Rumor’ leads to heightened police presence at Gibson Co. school

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MEDINA, Tenn. — Rumors at a Gibson County High School prompt police to take serious action Friday morning, heightening their presence to ensure students’ safety. WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News received dozens of phone calls from concerned parents of South Gibson County High School students after they arrived on campus to find a number of officers inside and out. Deputies said the rumor they were investigating turned out to be just that — a rumor. “There were no firearms found, no incident occurred, and no injures,” Medina Police Chief Steven Grooms said. “It was just basically a rumor.” The rumor was that a student may be bringing a gun to campus Friday morning. “With the number of school shootings that we’ve had in this country, even if it’s a rumor we take these threats very seriously,” Chief Grooms said. That’s why Grooms said he along with Sheriff Paul Thomas and the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office decided to take extra precautions. “Basically we flooded South Gibson’s campus with a high police presence,” Grooms said. “Just to ensure the safety of the students.” Although no gun was found and police said there was no credible threat to students, parents became concerned. That’s when Grooms said other rumors of what was happening at the school began to circulate. “With the number of cell phones, texts, Twitter and social media that everyone has access to, everyone had a different number of stories,” Chief Grooms said. “They were put out there but were not true.” School officials later sent out an mass message to parents clarifying the situation. Officers said the incident couldn’t have gone any better but do believe there’s always room for improvement. “We need to bring that training up to current standards,” Grooms said. “Get everyone on the same page and how to react to a situation like this.” Grooms said without an officer already stationed inside the school they may not have even known about this possible threat. “A school resource officer is very critical to have,” Grooms said. “We are blessed to have those in our schools.” According to the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office, they now have identified the student they believe started the rumor. He’s a juvenile, but deputies say they don’t expect charges to be filed and are leaving disciplinary action up to the school system. Officials said the school was never put on lockdown during the incident and that the day went on as planned.

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