Many Livonia High students stay home after parent circulates threat rumor on social media _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Pointe Coupee Parish Schools Superintendent Kevin Lemoine.

Rumors that a student planned a shooting at Livonia High School on Thursday led to many parents either keeping their children at home or checking them out of school early, frustrating schools Superintendent Kevin Lemoine, who said there was no evidence of a real threat.

“It was all hearsay, something that got blown out of proportion by a parent who went on social media and started this whole rumor mill,” Lemoine said Thursday. “Some lady went on social media and reported that we weren’t taking it seriously, but here’s the funny thing: Her kid is in school today.”

The superintendent said approximately half of the school’s student body did not show up for classes Thursday.

Lemoine said rumors of a threat began Wednesday afternoon after the student who allegedly was going to “shoot up” school went to the school’s administration to report an offensive comment said to him by another student.

School administrators squashed the argument immediately, Lemoine said, but he suspects someone else made a joke later that afternoon, saying the kid who was offended was going to get revenge the following day.

Lemoine said schools officials never found any evidence the student made the threat, but that didn’t stop other students from going home that night and telling their parents.

“They’re kids; of course they’re going to use that to their advantage to stay at home today,” Lemoine said.

But after a parent went on social media blasting the school district and advising other parents to keep their children at home, Lemoine said, many students stayed home or were checked out early by their parents.

“Now we have a population of students not at school today because of misinformation,” Lemoine said.

In publicly shared posts The Advocate found on Facebook, a parent wrote, “Now if officials have an issue with this and what I’ve posted, I’m sure one knows me by now to know I can truly care less about your opinions and feelings however I do care about children’s safety! Period!”

Capt. Steve Juge, a Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said local authorities have launched an investigation into the matter.

Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.