By James R. Campbell
Nevada Daily Mail
A Tuesday rumor that a Nevada High School student had brought a gun to school was found to be false, but a number of parents kept their children home Wednesday in response to the rumor, Superintendent David Stephens said.
"There is not much to tell," Dr. Stephens said. "Yesterday, a student reported to the high school office that he had heard something about a student saying he brought a gun to school.
"We traced the rumor to the source and he said it was something he heard over a year ago. It wasn't anything recent. No threat was made to any student. From what I understand, an individual made a post on Facebook that it was something investigated yesterday.
"It was a false rumor, so we're having school."
Asked if Wednesday's absences would be excused, Stephens said the district does not deal with absences as excused or unexcused.
Noting that the high school had about 145 students absent Wednesday, including those who didn't attend for other reasons, he said, "We don't qualify absences that way.
"Parents always have the right to keep their kids home. Those who are absent will be able to make up their work."
Stephens said a student who actually made such a threat would find himself or herself in a lot of trouble. "If we ever had something like that, it would be grounds for being kicked out of school," he said.
"If a student were caught with a weapon, it would be grounds for longterm suspension and law enforcement would be involved. They could go to jail."
Nevada High School has a total of about 730 students.
Stephens said Vernon County Deputy Sheriff Dan Miller, who has an office at the high school and works in all the district's buildings, is a full-time school security officer. The R-5 District reimburses the sheriff's office for Miller's salary.
Asked about the district's policy to be followed should a crisis occur, the superintendent said a school would be locked down if, for example, someone were seen outside with a gun. "There are different scenarios that require different procedures," he said.
"If someone were inside the building, we would lock the doors and keep all the kids in the rooms. We practice these procedures in our 'intruder on campus' drills. If there was a critical event and there was a danger we were dealing with, we would activate our crisis plan to have a point of contact for parents and use our automated call system to send a recorded message to all the households simultaneously.
"I want to emphasize that no threat was made. If there had been, we would have taken care of it immediately."