Scared or Skipping? TC Takes Off
May 13, 2010 by Matthew Rieber
There have been many rumors circulating around T.C. concerning a possible Columbine repeat on the 20th of April. Due to the nature of the incident, it is not yet possible to publish all of the information pertaining to it due to an ongoing investigation. In order to assess the validity of many of these rumors, Theogony has worked to collect information from those closest to the situation in order to present a clearer idea of the chain of events that took place.
One of the most frequently heard rumors is that of a threat message being sent to the principal concerning a repeat of the Columbine Massacre. Upon further inquiry, it became apparent that this was entirely false. “Two students, [who are] sophomores, came forward because they were concerned about a classmate of theirs,” said Principal William Clendaniel. “It had nothing to do with any threats; they were just concerned with his emotional well being.” After Theogony found out about unspecified actions of a questionable nature by the student it was revealed he had not been alone in said actions. “As we started looking more and more into [the student’s unspecified actions] we found that there were some other students involved, and that’s when the information [concerning a possible threat] came out,” said Clendaniel. “[However] the last week of anxiety initially resulted from care and concern for a student.” The main student involved has been reported to have received as of yet unspecified help concerning his actions.
However, more than one student was definitely involved with the school’s inquiry and have been dealt with based on their actions, written and physical. “There were four other people involved besides [the original person], but they were expelled,” said a friend of an involved student. “He and the other people are at Stonewall [Jackson, high school] right now.” According to another source the students involved appeared to be serious about this threat. “They told me their plan and asked me to help them, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to get involved with that sort of thing,” said another friend of an involved student. School officials are encouraging students to come forward if they hear or see anything in the school that makes them feel uncomfortable. “If anyone says anything that brings [a student] concern they should talk to an administrator,” said Clendaniel. “Even if it just seems like a joke, it’s still important to talk to an administrator.”
As far as school officials and investigators know, the students’ plan was little more than speculation. “I heard that they were interrogated,” said a member of the security personnel. “It was revealed that they had no real intention to kill anyone at the school.” Closer investigation of the matter revealed that some students involved were pressured to assist with the planning of the event, including the person who was originally implicated in a potential threat to the school. “[The people actually in charge] were just looking for people to take the fall for them,” said friend of an accused student. “[Chuck *] was a really nice person, he never would have done it. He was just mad at the school.”
Upon hearing of the event through the Washington Post and the letter sent out by the school, many members of the student body were severely troubled; approximately 950 students did not attend school on the 20th. “They should have closed the school for at least a day, I don’t feel like they took [enough] precaution as far as what was going on,” stated one student. “They should have had way more security than they did if they were even going to keep the school open.”Outside security personnel said that there were gaps in the current security system that caused many problems to fall through the cracks. In order to remedy this, the school hired a private security firm to cover the holes that riddled the former system and they are currently working to improve their internal system and fix the problems that previously existed. Many students are unaware that the incident is still an ongoing police investigation and as much as the administration wanted to inform the student body, the administration was not able to release any vital information, as it would violate confidentiality policies. School administrators said that they tried to be as discrete as possible about the police investigation in order to keep students in line and not create panic in the school. However, once one rumor was leaked about what was happening more came flooding out. One after another, rumors circulated the school about the threat as well as whom they thought was the mastermind behind it all.
After all of the confusion following the, questionable yet non-threatening, actions of certain students, extra security has been hired and all that is left as far as the people of T.C. are concerned are the slowly fading rumors.