Officials: Group falsely accused student of planning violent act at Gwinnett County high school

- With a number of threats against Atlanta-area schools being made on social media, officials are working hard to make sure that everyone is safe.

On Tuesday, Gwinnett County Schools sent a letter to parents involving a "troubling incident" involving a so-called threat to Peachtree Ridge high school.

In the letter, Peachtree Ridge Principal Dr. Jeff Matthews said that a group of students at the school used social media to spread a rumor that another student had made a violent threat, alleging he was going to "shoot up the school."

RELATED: Authorities investigating threats against Atlanta area schools

After an investigation, Matthews said that there was no threat and that "it appears that a group of students used social media to implicate this student."

"In today's world, it is awful that our students, teachers, and parents have to worry about threats at school," he said. "However, it is even more troubling that there are individuals who would feed off of these fears to try to falsely accuse another student of making threats."

Matthews said the students involved would face disciplinary consequences.  

You can read the whole letter below:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am writing to you today about a troubling incident that occurred at school today involving social media and some disappointing actions by some of our students. Earlier today, we received information that a student may have been planning a violent act at school. This information was posted on social media along with photos of the student. As you can imagine, these social media posts spread rapidly among students, causing concern for many in our school community. We immediately contacted our School Resource Officers who began an investigation. First, let me share that based on the information gathered in the investigation there does not appear to be any threat.

While that is certainly good news, what is extremely troubling is that it appears that a group of students used social media to implicate this student. That said, we will be taking disciplinary action against students involved. In today's world, it is awful that our students, teachers, and parents have to worry about threats at school. However, it is even more troubling that there are individuals who would feed off of these fears to try to falsely accuse another student of making threats. Thankfully, this only involved a very small group of students. As disappointing as this is, I am thankful that a large group of students were very helpful in providing information that allowed us to track these posts and those who were using social media to create issues for another student.

I am very concerned about this behavior and encourage you to talk to your child(ren) about this situation. There is a responsibility that goes along with using social media and students should know that if they misuse social media and it creates a disruption at school that they can and will face discipline consequences at school. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Jeff Mathews

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