RUSH COUNTY, Ind. — Authorities in Rush County arrested a juvenile student they say posted a false rumor that someone brought a gun to school and there would be “bloodshed” on Tuesday.
The Rush County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest Wednesday after the false allegation that a student had brought a gun to school was spread on social media.
“The allegation, which had no foundation in reality, caused great concern for parents, students and our community,” the sheriff’s office said.
The threat was immediately investigated by both school personnel and law enforcement, RCSO said.
“Through this intensive process, it was clearly determined that this rumor was just plain false,” RCSO said.
As the rumor spread on social media, the sheriff’s office said that there was widespread concern throughout the community resulting in mass absences at local schools. Rushville Consolidated High School had nearly 50% of students absent on Tuesday while Benjamin Rush Middle School had 54% of its student body not present.
Additionally, RCSO said that the student whose name was used in the rumor and their family were “subjected to harassment in various forms” and that police were forced to search their property. Yet, the sheriff’s office said they remained cooperative throughout the investigation.
RCSO said that the Rush County School Corporation also cooperated entirely and that there are very specific policies to ensure the safety of both the victim of the allegation and the student body as a whole.
“The safety of our community and our schools is of the utmost importance,” Sheriff Alan Rice said. “False rumors of a school shooting are not only irresponsible, but they are also illegal. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior.”
In a release sent Wednesday, RCSO said that they will not be identifying the student who was arrested due to them being a minor. However, Sheriff Rice confirmed that the student has been criminally charged for their actions.