HOUSTON — Information circulating this week that a Hardin-Houston High School student was planning to take a gun to school and shoot two students was deemed to be a rumor.

“This was only a rumor. We are not sure how it got started, but we always check everything out,” Hardin-Houston Schools Superintendent Larry Claypool said, Friday. “We want our parents and families to know that we do the best to keep our students safe.”

Shelby County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jim Frye said the sheriff’s office received a call Wednesday evening, March 28, from a student’s parents about the threat and promptly got involved. The student whose parents contacted the sheriff’s office first claimed he had heard another student make the threat.

Deputies spoke with both students, Frye said, and it was determined that no one made a threat to take a gun to school to shoot anyone. The rumor, however, had been circulating at the high school for a couple of days before the sheriff’s office became involved.

Although Hardin-Houston Schools’ administrators could not verify the threat and believed it was not credible, Claypool said, they do take this type of situation seriously. Local law enforcement is invited if school officials feel they need help with the school’s investigation, he said.

“We are accountable to the community and want to do what is right,” Claypool said.

Frye said he is uncertain if the questioning was misunderstood by the reporting student, but the sheriff’s office investigation revealed the accusant’s statement was false. Upon further questioning, the reporting student admitted he overheard other students discussing a threat and that he, himself, had not heard the threat being made.

“At this point, we have spoken with all the parties involved, and barring anything extraordinary, no charges will be filed,” Frye said about Friday’s follow up investigation.

When asked if any charges, such as inducing panic, will be filed, Frye said no. The office walks a fine line with such a situation, he said. They do not want to scare kids away from coming forward and sharing information like this with authorities.

When asked if disciplinary action will be taken, Claypool said school officials will continue to look at whether such action is necessary, after returning from the school’s spring break. Claypool also praised the sheriff’s office’s “good work” and help with the situation.

By Sheryl Roadcap

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Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.