Oakley: Principal Addresses “Gang, Weapons, Fights” Rumors at Freedom High School

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Freedom High School Principal Erik Faulkner sent out the following letter to parents this morning addressing concerns and fears regarding rumors being spread on social media.

A message from FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL

Good Morning Freedom Families,

Several people have expressed concerns and fears regarding messages through social media and websites about Freedom High School.  These concerns and fears focus on “lock downs”, “gangs”, “weapons”, “fights”, and other issues that are false.  It is a shame that rumor spreading and the resulting fear travel so far and wide so quickly, and that few know the facts.  Here are the facts:

  1. We are NOT on “Lock Down”
  2. We do have a few students who we believe associate with informal gangs. These students are few and have not been an issue or threat to the general population
  3. We have not found any students to be in possession of any weapons.  Any report or rumor of a weapon is ALWAYS investigated thoroughly.
  4. Fights occur at Freedom.  We had 5 fights on campus the entire first quarter (9 weeks). 3 of the 5 fights involved the same 2 students.  When fights occur, we investigate and consequences are administered.

The social media frenzy is based upon an altercation that occurred on Wednesday of this week. The unsubstantiated rumors on social media began almost immediately after the incident. Here are the facts:

 

  1. 4 Non-Freedom students from a neighboring school entered campus on Wednesday to retrieve an item that was borrowed by a Freedom student.  The Freedom student texted the non-students to meet on campus. After being detained and questioned, they were released. The principal of the school was notified and dealt with the students.
  2. A second incident involved several students were arguing with one another over stolen property.  There was no resolution, and one of the students offered to fight off-campus.  The other student did not want to do that, and instead made a racial epithet. A fight ensued. An investigation occurred, and the students have been administratively addressed.That same day on social media, some students mentioned the fight, and began generating false rumors about gangs and weapons.  These students were promptly called, and it was verified they had posted false rumors.  They removed the posts.

As you can see, false rumors are easily spread and send fear throughout our student body,  campus, and the community.  It is up to ALL of US to stand firm against lies and rumors.  Please help us support a positive campus climate by encouraging students not to spread unsubstantiated and patently false rumors.

Thank you.

Erik Faulkner
Principal


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