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Phrase of a gunman at a Louisiana faculty brought about social media panic. What did he actually have? | Schooling

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Faculty and regulation enforcement officers in Tangipahoa Parish are upset that folks infected an already-tense scenario by taking to social media as native deputies tried to analyze experiences of an armed man on faculty grounds.

The “menace” turned out to be a person with an umbrella.

Hammond Eastside Magnet Elementary Faculty and Hammond Excessive Faculty, whose campuses lie a quarter-mile from one another, each went on lockdown Thursday after regulation enforcement obtained a name a couple of man carrying a gun within the elementary faculty parking zone. Deputies, police and fireplace crews responded to the scene round 3:30 p.m. and the faculties postponed dismissal.

Replace 11/19/2021, 11:45 a.m.: The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned Thursday evening that video surveillance footage confirmed the person deeme…

Dad and mom, in the meantime, flocked to a Fb group for native faculty mother and father, clamoring for solutions. Some mentioned their college students had heard gunshots. Others requested whether or not regulation enforcement had discovered the “energetic shooter.”

Later that night, after regulation enforcement cleared the world and a wave of buses started transporting college students dwelling, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s workplace launched an announcement saying that there had been no menace all alongside.

Surveillance video footage confirmed the person “was not in possession of a firearm,” the sheriff’s workplace mentioned. As an alternative, he seemed to be “holding an umbrella or cane like object.”

Sheriff’s deputies situated and interviewed the person, who was not arrested, mentioned Tangipahoa sheriff chief Jimmy Travis.

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Nonetheless, confusion reigned on social media even after the sheriff’s workplace launched the assertion on its Fb web page. “So what’s the reality right here? Are mother and father simply blowing this out of proportion,” one member of the mother and father’ group wrote, “or is the college attempting to cover this from the mother and father?”

In an period when shootings on faculty campuses in america have develop into terrifyingly widespread — and when college students are drilled repeatedly on how you can shield themselves if a shooter descends on their campus — Thursday’s false alarm proved “one of the best consequence to a name like this,” Travis mentioned.

Facebook posts falsely linked people to crimes in Louisiana, causing problems for police

Throughout a current homicide investigation, detectives in Tangipahoa Parish confronted a problem they in all probability wouldn’t have pictured 20 years in the past: A v…

However although an unarmed individual being mistaken for a possible faculty shooter was the very best results of a tense scenario, hypothesis that unfold on social media made regulation enforcement’s work to analyze the menace tougher, Travis mentioned.

“It makes it onerous for us to get the details on the market,” he mentioned.

Misinformation and rumors unfold through the platform have develop into widespread issues for regulation enforcement in rural Louisiana with Fb serving as a gathering place, gossip hub and information supply for individuals there.

“You bought individuals who consider every part that’s posted. That’s what occurred yesterday,” mentioned Randy Bush, a member of the parish faculty board, on Friday. “Earlier than it bought stopped, you had individuals saying there was a shootout on the faculty.”

Tangipahoa Faculties Superintendent Melissa Stilley and directors at Hammond Eastside Magnet and Hammond Excessive Faculty didn’t instantly return cellphone messages Friday morning.

James Finn writes for The Advocate as a Report For America corps member. E-mail him at [email protected] or comply with him on Twitter @RJamesFinn.

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