School shooting threat made

Police check into shooting talk, graffiti

A reported threat of a school shooting at Center Grove Middle School North was investigated by police overnight Tuesday, but determined to be a rumor, school officials said.

At least two students reported to police hearing about the threat, and graffiti possibly connected to it was also found in a boys bathroom at the middle school. An investigation found that the threats the students reported were either rumors or were not threats they heard first-hand, and that the graffiti did not include any threats, Center Grove Schools spokeswoman Stacy Conrad said.

School officials spoke with the student who was reported to have made the threats, along with the student’s parent, and determined the student did not make a threat, Conrad said.

A message was sent to parents Tuesday night to make them aware of the situation, and to try to stop the spread of rumors, Conrad said.

Just before 6:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies were called to a Center Grove area home, where a student had told her parents she heard about a conversation on the school bus where another student talked about a school shooting, according to the sheriff’s office report. The girl told police the conversation involved a seventh-grader who was being bullied and planned to bring a gun to school on Wednesday.

Another student told deputies he had heard that two gangs at the school were having a fight. He had also heard that one gang had written on the wall of the school about a shooting happening Wednesday. The group of students were tired of being bullied and were going to stick up for themselves by bringing guns to school, the student told deputies. That student’s parents had reported the issue to school officials on Tuesday afternoon, the report said.

Sheriff’s deputies contacted Center Grove Police, who were aware of the situation, the report said. No Center Grove police officers were on duty when the report was made, so sheriff’s deputies handled the report, Conrad said.

Students are encouraged to report any concerns to teachers or school officials, Conrad said.

Police in Franklin were also called to investigate on Wednesday, after a Franklin Community Middle School student who had made some concerning statements was not at school and fellow students worried the student could pose a threat, Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.

Investigators spoke with the student, who said he had been joking when he made the comments. Police determined there was no threat, O’Sullivan said.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.