Principal at Philo High School Troy Dawson said an incident that occurred Thursday may have been blown out of proportion on social media.
Dawson said during lunch yesterday a few students were involved in a verbal altercation when one student made a threat to bring a gun to school. Students who overheard the threat immediately notified adults. The student was removed from school.
The Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office was involved and Sheriff Lutz said the student and their parents confirmed the student never had access to a weapon. Dawson said a day later (Friday) social media posts became a source of panic and confusion about a situation already under control.
“Classes were not canceled,” said Dawson. “All of the students that were involved, their parents or guardians were notified of the incident. Over the evening I believe there are some things that went out over social media and it kind of took off like wildfire and some inconsistencies and inaccuracies occurred and we just learned how that blew up today.”
Friday, a district-wide statement was sent out to ensure parents have the facts about the incident. Dawson said if there had been a truly dangerous situation, the school would have notified everyone immediately, and he’s proud to say students played a role in keeping the grounds safe by doing the right thing.
“I was very pleased that right away other students went to adults in our building, informed them, and then they informed us right away so it was just minutes from when the threat occurred before we found out about it and had the student in office conducting our investigation.”
Dawson said he’s proud of the students who stepped forward with the information, ensuring the incident never escalated and he believes Philo High School remains a safe place for students and faculty.