• Facebook gun threat at Tavares Middle School turns out to be hoax


    TAVARES, Fla. - A troubling message written on Facebook sent deputies to Tavares Middle School on Friday.

    Authorities said someone posted a threat about a fight involving a gun at the school.

    When Channel 9 arrived, a line of at least 20 parents were waiting to pick up their children after hearing about the threat.

    “They are not forthcoming in giving out information at this school on many levels,” said parent Michelina Miller.

    Administrators sent a message to parents Friday morning about an incident of violence that was rumored to occur on campus.  The sheriff's office called it a Facebook threat involving a fight and a gun. 

    “I was a little frightened, actually,” said sixth grade student Arianna Pappas. “I didn't know what was going on.  I was a little bit confused."

    The sheriff sent a half-dozen deputies, who quickly found the student who was the subject of the post.

    “He agreed to be searched.  We searched his backpack, nothing on him,” said Sgt. Jim Vachon. “Contacted his parents and it turns out it was a malicious rumor started about this student.  There was no fight.  There wasn't going to be a fight.  There was no gun."

    But while it was all a hoax, many parents weren't taking any chances, and they came to pick up their kids anyway. 

    Some told Channel 9 the principal should have informed them that the threat, true or not, involved a gun. 

    For some who said violence has increased at the school, Friday’s threat was the last straw.

    "That's it, yes.  Absolutely.  We're sending our kids to another school next year,” said Miller.

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