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Schools officials say Musselman High campus safe, despite Internet rumors

December 20, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County school officials Tuesday sought to reassure parents of Musselman High School students that the campus was safe after rumors circulated via the Internet and social media that students might be in danger.

“These rumors are unfounded, and no incidents have occurred,” the school system said in a news release, but did not indicate any specifics.

“The school administration and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department have taken the necessary and appropriate steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

The county school district also discouraged parents of students from relying on any information other than official announcements or statements from Musselman High’s administration.

“Students involved will be held accountable,” the statement said. “Please be assured that the safety of our students is always our top priority.”

School district spokeswoman Leah Daniel declined to elaborate on the statement when contacted Tuesday.

Students are unable to use social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter on school computers, which provide filtered Internet access, according to Superintendent Manny P. Arvon II.

Students may access social media websites via their mobile phones, which Arvon said are a “privilege” that can be taken away at any time if it is being abused. Mobile phone use is limited to non-classroom time, Arvon said.

“We like to give our children a chance to be responsible,” Arvon said.

Arvon couldn’t say how the rumors were started at Musselman High, but noted the school district has remained flexible with mobile phone use because they haven’t had a lot of major issues.

“My feeling is a lot of this is happening after school,” Arvon said of social media-related issues.  

And “99.9 percent (of students) are doing the right thing,” Arvon said.

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Press release from Musselman High School

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