Rumors abounded yesterday about an alleged incident involving a gun at a public school campus in Fritch, but officials from the Sanford-Fritch ISD and the Fritch Police Department have denied such reports.
“There was no weapon of any kind,” stated Fritch Chief of Police Monte Leggett. “That is only a rumor.”
The reports began in the morning after Fritch police detained at least one student accused of making threats. According to Leggett, he was made aware of possible threats on Tuesday night and notified school officials. The next morning, Leggett says, two Fritch police officers arrived at the combined Sanford-Fritch Jr. High/High School campus and, along with school officials, pulled the student into a meeting.
A statement released from the office of Sanford-Fritch ISD Superintendent Jim McClellan stated simply: “The SFISD and local law enforcement have investigated a rumored threat on SFHS. No issues were found. Students and staff are safe.”
McClellan did not return a phone call seeking further comment.
Rumors quickly spread out of control. Students and parents of Sanford-Fritch students alleged that a gun had been brought onto the campus, threats were made against a teacher, and even that the gun had been pulled on a teacher in a classroom. The News-Herald received multiple reports that a student had created a ‘hit-list’ with the names of students to be targeted. Other reports alleged that a student had been forcibly subdued with a TASER stun-gun.
Leggett was adamant that there was “no incident” and “no gun” and blamed social media for the supposedly exaggerated reports. "Social media is terrible. It’s a rumor, that’s it. And [social media] is a rumor mill.”
When asked if a TASER had been used against a student, Leggett responded, “Absolutely not.
“There was no use of force [other than a pat-down].”
Leggett said that the Fritch Police Department is investigating but stated “It’s really a matter for the school to handle.” As for the safety of students and teachers, Leggett stressed that the Fritch PD is “very proactive” and take all threats seriously. He said that officers were on scene as children began to arrive for school, and that making sure students and staff were safe was top priority.