Education

Broughton High School postpones walkout after rumors of social media threat

Broughton High School walk out postponed due to social media threat

The walk out at Broughton High School Wednesday, March 14, 2018 was postponed due to a social media threat.
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The walk out at Broughton High School Wednesday, March 14, 2018 was postponed due to a social media threat.

The social media threat that forced Broughton High School to postpone its student walkout wasn't a threat at all, the school's principal said Wednesday afternoon.

"What we now know is that there was never a threat to our school," principal Elena Ashburn wrote in a post on the school's website. "Instead, there was a false rumor of a threat and a post on social media that caused unnecessary fear among our school community."

Ashburn said a student had notified staff about a Snapchat post that talked of rumors spreading about threats to the school.

"We immediately notified law enforcement, WCPSS Security, and made the determination to postpone the student walkout to ensure our students were safe," Ashburn said. "Upon investigation, we learned the post stemmed from a conversation about guns that occurred between two students several weeks ago. This conversation had been retold, and the retelling of the conversation turned into a rumor of a threat."

"Federal student privacy laws prohibit us from sharing specific information about students, but you can be assured that appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with our district policy has been taken in this matter," Ashburn said.

Broughton's student walkout was about to begin when the school postponed it.

Wake County schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten said Wednesday morning that Raleigh police were investigating the threat.

"Broughton High School was notified that somebody had posted a threat via Snapchat," said spokeswoman Lisa Luten.

Thousands of Triangle students walked out of their classrooms Wednesday morning as part of a national movement to honor the victims of the Parkland. Fla., high school shooting and to call for changes to end school gun violence.

The Women's March Youth EMPOWER encouraged students across the country to walk out at 10 a.m. Wednesday for 17 minutes — one minute for each of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14.

Students and staff from each high school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School district wore the same shirt as they walked out of school on Wednesday March 14, 2018 to honor the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, FL, one month later.

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