Police presence at Tidioute Charter Friday to squelch social media rumors

A rumor that a gun would be brought to school prompted a police presence at Tidioute Community Charter School (TCCS) on Friday.

According to TCCS CEO Doug Allen, an incident in which a seventh-grader brought a pocket knife to school on Thursday of last week spiraled into a rumor that same night that a gun would be brought to school on Friday. Allen said that prompted calls to school officials as well as anonymous tips through the Attorney General’s “Safe 2 Say Something” reporting app.

He said law enforcement was dispatched to Tidioute Borough, and then police had a presence at the school on Friday as a precaution.

Allen said everything was handled swiftly and transparently.

There were “several rumors and social media posts about an incident involving middle school students at TCCS,” he said. “The CEO’s administrative team has investigated rumors, reviewed social media posts, and interviewed middle school students and parents relative to a middle school incident. The incident is being dealt with per policy. We believe all students and employees are safe. The PA State Police, Warren, and the Warren County Sheriff’s office chief deputy and staff were at TCCS as a safety protocol measure (on Friday). The TCCS Board of Trustees wants all TCCS students and family members to be safe and feel safe. We will continue to investigate the incident.”

While social media posts turned out to be false, Allen said the school contacted parents through phone and emails “blasts,” as well as responding to media. He said 10 parents kept their children home on Friday due to the rumors/incidents, and five others were picked up during school.

“Did the public have a right to know why six police officers were there on Friday? … Yes,” said Allen.