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Montrose Area Schools on Alert

Posted on: 5:38 pm, December 17, 2012, by

MONTROSE — A rumor circulating through the halls at Montrose Area High School is being taken very seriously. School officials said a student allegedly posted to Facebook that he would bring a gun to school this Friday – the day that coincides with the end of the Mayan calendar.

Superintendent Michael Ognosky said that after Friday’s tragic shooting in Connecticut, many parents are calling with concerns.

“If I were a parent, I would have a concern too. The combination of these two things and the timing of these two things are a perfect storm,” said Ognosky.

The district notified parents of this situation days later saying: “We immediately contacted the state police and they have assisted us in the investigation of all report…That investigation yielded no evidence supporting the reports.”

Karen Burns is a mother of four and said she is trying not to let this gossip bother her, but said it’s hard not to think that the worst could happen here.

“Yes, it’s very scary. It is,” said Karen Burns of Lawton.

This isn’t the first time social media sites have helped fuel rumors at Montrose Area School District, but administrators said they’re doing everything they can to make students and parents feel safe.

Extra law enforcement will be on hand at Montrose Area Schools this week. Counselors and school principals say parents can help by paying close attention to what their kids have to say.

“I think key is listening to what their conversations are, not just their online conversations,” said School Counselor Mary Beth Ohmnacht.

The superintendent says the high school student at the center of the rumor is staying home until this investigation is complete, and says security is a top priority.

“It’s not enough to say, you know, ‘I’ve been here 26 years and we’ve never had an incident.’ That’s not enough to say that because all you need is to have one,” said Ognosky.

The school says at no time were threats to students made. State police are continuing to investigate where the rumors may have started.

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