In an extreme case of a rumor getting out of control, Lancaster High School was in lockdown Thursday afternoon on a tip that a student was carrying a weapon in the school.
The issue begins in the cafeteria, where two students were bumping each other, according to Principal Mark Uppena. Uppena states that a third student saw the bumping, and looked to step in to help stop an altercation before it started. The event turned out to be between friends with no malice, and the third student walked away.
As the third student was walking away, someone made a comment that the student likely stepped in because they have a gun. "Who knows where that came from," Uppena said, stating that there may have been a rumor about the student having a weapon at an earlier time.
"The rumor mill got out of control," Uppena said of what transpired soon after.
Shortly after lunch the gun rumor spread to the point that school staff were made aware of it, and then placed the school in secure lockdown. If anything positive came from the incident, Uppena said that the procedures in place worked exactly as drawn up. "That went really well, people knew their jobs thoroughly."
Officers from the Lancaster Police Department were brought in and began searching the school. The student who had the rumor swirling around them was questioned, and fully cooperating, even offered to have officers go to the student's home and search there. Nothing, neither at the school or the house was found.
No disciplinary action is planned against anyone at this point.
"The safety of our students is one of our most important concerns," Uppena said, noting the district staff and police department acted swiftly to make sure there was no weapon.
What the incident resulted in was a loss of part of the afternoon for students. "Something like this takes out of our normal routine," Uppena said.