UPDATE: Student Charged, Perry Hall High Gun Threat Rumors Found False

Police confirmed that additional officers responded to Perry Hall High School on Wednesday.

UPDATE (Nov. 28, 4:08 p.m.)—While several police officers and a helicopter responded to Perry Hall High School on Wednesday, officials confirmed that rumors about a lockdown, gun threat and other violence among students were largely false. 

"There are a lot of rumors and stories circulating on social media. I know that Principal George Roberts and the police department have been very active and working very closely to make sure there are no problems," said Charles Herndon, a Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman. 

The rumors likely stemmed from a fight inside the school on Monday that led to a 14-year-old being charged, Elise Armacost, a Baltimore County Police Department spokeswoman, confirmed. 

According to Aramcost, at about 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, two boys—a 14-year-old freshman and a 17-year-old senior—got into a fight in a hallway. The fight was immediately broken up by school administrators and both boys were taken to the principal's office and disciplined.

The 14-year-old boy, who had used brass knuckles during the fight, was charged as a juvenile with second-degree assault, Armacost said. 

"The principal asked for a greater police presence today because people were feeling nervous after what happened on Monday," she added. 

Community members have been on high alert since a student opened fire inside the school cafeteria on the first day of school, leaving another student seriously wounded. 

Several parents had become concerned on Wednesday after reading about a possible gun threat and lockdown on social media. Some removed students from school. 

Those rumors, however, were found to be false, Herndon and Armacost confirmed. 

Still, police sent several officers and a helicopter to the Ebenezer Road school Wednesday morning. Two Student Resource Officers, with metal-detecting wands, were already stationed at the school.

"The increased police presence is a precaution and also to reassure parents and students. We do not believe there is any kind of threat," Herndon said. 

Herndon urged parents to "seek out reliable sources of information" and not to spread rumors on social media. 

The Mole November 28, 2012 at 06:44 PM
"seek out reliable sources of info"..are you kidding me..Didn't the shooter put something on facebook when before he shot Daniel??
MP November 28, 2012 at 06:44 PM
They need to report all information to the public. My child is scared with all these accusations How are these kids ever gonna get past the violence. Patents and the community need to be made aware. I called Perry Hall High School and was abruptly hung you on after I told them that I received a text message from my son and that is a huge concern for me in additional to the violence.
Jennifer Short November 28, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I find this very interesting. My daughter was in her counselors office yesterday and he told her that the reason of the increase of police is because of a threat that was discovered online. There were more police there yesterday than there was the day after the shooting. As far as "Herndon urged parents to "seek out reliable sources of information" and not to spread rumors on social media. " Herndon should of been our reliable source even before the rumors had a chance to spread. If there was an increase presence of police, an email should of went out to explain why. So that is where you, Herndon, failed!
Laura November 28, 2012 at 06:56 PM
I'm really not sure what is meant by "parents should seek out reliable sources of information and not to spread rumors on social media". Number one, wasn't it Facebook that the shooter the first day of school posted to? If someone saw that and reported it we may not have to be terrified parents waiting for this to happen again! I for one do not like living day to day knowing a repeat could happen! I for one am glad that people responded to the rumors going around twitter this time around! I called the police station and was told they were getting calls every 2 to 3 minutes about this. I applaud that. We can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting our kids. And the police could neither confirm or deny if these were just rumors! They didn't know!
Dawn November 28, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I was so angry when I read "reliable sources of info." They should have sent out an alert when everthing took place yesterday. The school says be on your toes and report any suspicious activity and the police say make sure it is reliable before calling. Isn't that their job to make sure it is realiable?
jessica schaum November 28, 2012 at 07:20 PM
more information please
Acts Like Summer November 28, 2012 at 07:31 PM
"Herndon should of been our reliable source even before the rumors had a chance to spread" His official statement will NEVER get to your ears faster than instant social media gossip, silly.
Laura November 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Exactly Jessica. I don't feel better about this at all. How do we know it was false? How do we know it just wasn't put off because word got out??
Emily Kimball (Editor) November 28, 2012 at 07:51 PM
UPDATE: Rumors likely stemmed from an assault charge against a 14-year-old on Monday - http://patch.com/A-zRC0
Karen Quinn Wisniewski November 28, 2012 at 07:57 PM
This is an excellent discussion about information literacy and what is reliable information especially in this social media age. I count on reporters, etc. to offer authoritative information, not students posting on Facebook or Twitter.
MP November 28, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Amazing. HERNDON is a class act. Perry Hall High School is not concerned about our kids at all. I walked in there the other day and there was NO presence of police or security and I walked right in and had full access to everything. I was beside myself knowing that my son and other kids were in there and there was absolutely no security.
MP November 28, 2012 at 08:04 PM
When the meeting was held after the shooting the Principal was nowhere near ready for that meeting with the way the questions were being thrown at him and all the parents were being told was "we will discuss that at our board meeting " and now that School is getting worse from the lack of concern that Perry Hall High School displays.
Stacey Schantz November 28, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I have been wondering all day what's going on there. Thank you, I'm sure additional details will follow as they always do!!! I do however, feel that the police and schools need to be aware that social media is how communication happens these days, whether they are rumors or not, parental concerns often begin on social media. It's a sign of the times. It would be very easy for the school to use the mass communication methods to get information out to parents quickly to squash rumors and keep parents up to speed on the events.
K November 28, 2012 at 08:56 PM
MP - You are WAY offbase about PHHS. They are incredibly concerned about their student body. You have NO idea what effort went into ensuring the safety of everyone in that building. Pretty easy to spout off and critique, isn't it? And yes...I have 2 kids that graduated from that school....both successfully transitioned into Universities, family currently attending the school, close friends with children still there....so I DO know what everyone is feeling. It is shameful the way people are quick to put down the police, administration, etc when you have no idea what it is like to be in their position. How about you place judgement when you graduate the police academy, become a principal, vice principal, teacher, etc.....?? I love the Patch, but after 2 decades of living this community, it has certainly shown me the great people in my community, but has shown me more of the nastiness that surrounds us. No wonder the children are so mouthy and disrespectful...look at the comments that spew on the Patch and you can easily see their role models. I am certainly not perfect, but this negativity does not unite, inspire or motivate change in our community.
Michele November 28, 2012 at 08:57 PM
OMG.that is not y they don't let u use cell phones in school.They do that so kids will pay attention and focus.Really?
Lorrin November 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I go to perry hall highas a student there i think they should have A LOT more security so people feel safe !
Born to be Free November 28, 2012 at 11:15 PM
It's days like this I wish children got the death penalty for doing acts like this. Why can't these kids grow up?
Tim November 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Yeah, killing them will get the message across. Brilliant.
Greg sniadach November 29, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Went to this School and graduated 2002 need to round up all former graduates and go whoop these kids asses for making my community and Alma Mater look bad.... And oh yea great idea to start bussing border line city kids about 5-6 years ago way to go BCPS what a joke
JD1 November 29, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Keep in mind, there are small towns in the US with a population of 2000 who have a full time police force. This school is too big to responsibly manage at this point. Can't believe more development in the area is even on the table. With 2000 plus kids in one place, two cops and a system that doesn't want to suspend kids, bad things are going to happen .....DUH!
Tim November 29, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Exactly. Again, Baltimore County putting too much emphasis in the wrong place. The middle school is overcrowded, and Perry Hall is bursting at the seams.
kb2171 November 29, 2012 at 03:42 AM
I have a child that is a freshman at Perry Hall and was in the cafeteria the first day all this just saddens me to think that these are the memories she will have for her future. High school is supposed to be the foundation for the rest of our lives. I know it was for me (the good and the bad), however thankfully nothing like this went on. I just hope we can all stop all the blaming and maybe as parents and members of the community, we can find a way to keep our kids safe. I don't have the answers, but sometimes with meeting of the minds things change. I refuse to run away from a town and school I live in! I wont be run out! My family wont be scared to live a normal life, none of us should! There must be something that can be done!
Just my opinion November 29, 2012 at 05:19 AM
I believe events such as have occurred this year at PHHS can begin to be turned around by one thing...swift and harsh punishment for assault with a weapon. No suspensions, just expulsion directly to a juvenile detention center where he/she cannot hurt anyone else. People who act like rabid animals need to be treated as such. An education is right for those who a interested in being positive members of society.
John Doe November 29, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I graduated in a senior class of 950 students and we never had this problem.
VWK November 29, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I agree with expulsion. Let the thugs take their fights elsewhere and keep it out of the schools, where too many innocent bystanders will get hurt.
Mary Kavanagh November 29, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Go to Perry Hall High School Love Project on Facebook and "Like" it. Read about the project there and on the Perry Hall High School home page. Donations and sponsorships are still welcomed! Thank you to Mr. Roberts, Mwr. Arnold, www.baltimoreloveproject.com, parents and PHHS Love Project Sponsors for helping to make a positive, healing statement for our children.
Jackie McTear November 30, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I have two children at the school. One's a senior and the other a Freshman. It really upsets me all this is happening in my daughter's last year and my son's first year. What great memories they will have, right? At this point I just want them to get through this year unscathed. In contrast, the past 3 years were great and my daughter still loves the school. I think it's way too crowded and impossible for the administration to see everything. I do agree it's so strange there isn't any kind of security at the front entrance. A cop should be there inside directing visitors to the office. My husband recommended video cameras in the cafeteria to be able to review any fights to see who was involved.
Nicole K. December 01, 2012 at 10:01 PM
This is not the Perry Hall High School that I once knew, and I only graduated in the late 90s. I find these incidents particularly saddening. But, these problems stem from home life and values. Some of my classmates were total jerks, but I think even they had the sense to resolve problems differently. There were occasional fights, but we never had to deal with fear of weapons and other threats. I'm not Polyanna and think it was all sunshine and rainbows, but even the punk-est punk I recall would not have resorted to the types of behaviors we keep hearing about now. The school, however, is way overcrowded. I wonder how they manage it, too.
Jeanne December 02, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Since some reporters were saying things on air that were not true after the shooting I rather hear from the students & staff that are there at the time of the incident.
Jeanne December 02, 2012 at 12:23 AM
A lot of the questions parents asked were questions about the shooter that the principal was NOT allowed to answer. Mr Roberts did the best he could answering questions within what he was allowed to say.


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