Confederate flag fight leads to ongoing threats at Florida high school; 1,000 students stay home

A racial incident at a Central Florida school last week was followed by threats on social media that led to about 1,000 students staying home on Monday.

Things got physical after some students at West Port High School waved confederate flags to taunt other students on Thursday. Though the fighting was contained, things escalated as students continued to communicate on social media, reported the Ocala Star Banner.

Rumors were rampant that there would be violence at the school on Monday, and the Ocala Police Department increased security as a result. Ocala police Sgt. Robie Bonner said parents notified them about the social media communications and investigators interviewed many students over the weekend.

“There were no credible threats,” said Bonner, according to the Banner.

Although school officials assured the safety of students at the Marion County school, many parents opted to keep their children home. Some took to social media themselves to spread the word about the threats of violence.

Attention FB family: I am posting this for any parents or families who have children or loved ones that attend Westport…

Posted by Michelle Brown on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rumor going around about a possible shooting at West Port High School tomorrow due to an altercation between a couple…

Posted by Kimberly McMahan on Monday, February 1, 2016

West Port addressed the situation on its Facebook page, assuring students and parents that the police “interviewed students who posted online about potential threats to ensure that every post was thoroughly investigated.”

“Unfortunately, once something is posted on social media it is difficult to know the extent of its reach,” the post stated.



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