Threat to Elkhart School "Unsubstantiated Rumor"

ELKHART, IN - Rumors of a possible shooting at Elkhart Memorial High School had police at the school Monday morning and had many parents keep their kids at home today after last week’s brawl in front of the school.

“After the incidents that occurred last week, with 11 kids being arrested and one kid being tazered…I thought it was in the best interest just to play it safe,” explained Jeff Lafferty, parent of a student.

Word of the possible threat spread on Facebook and text messages.

“One of my friends on Facebook posted because her daughter was getting texts from students that were already at the school that there was going to be a possible shooting,” Lafferty said.

School officials say they were notified of the rumor by parents over the weekend and requested extra police presence during the day, which is normal procedure for any kind of threat.  Officials said there was no evidence of any credible threat.

“I personally feel as though one of the safest places for our students in reality is within the schools,” explained Doug Thorne of the Elkhart Community School Corporation.  “There’s a large presence of adults in the school in addition to the law enforcement who were there.”

Thorne said the school had heard concerns from parents because of last week’s brawl.

“There really is at this point in time no clear indication that there’s a relationship between last week’s incident and the report that we received over the weekend,” Thorne said.

Thorne said the idea of a shooting was an “unsubstantiated rumor.”  But, given what’s happened at the school recently, many parents weren’t taking any chances.

“It’s hard to make that kind of decision in this day and age,” explained Jeff Lafferty.  “You don’t want to live in fear, but you want to protect your children at the same time.”

School officials said out of around 1,800 students there was a 10% absence rate on Monday.  There were no incidents at the school.


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