Rumors that there would be a school shooting on campus during planned participation in the National School Walkout on Friday led Turlock High's administration to postpone the final event of its Unity Week.
The High Five Activity would have attempted to break a record for the most consecutive high fives. "The students were to be in a spiral pattern starting in the center of the football field (and) spiraling out," according to the school's activities director, Jennifer Cullum. "We had a drone set to film the attempt and student leaders helping to organize and coordinate 2,000-plus students."
Cullum said the effort would have been to claim a Recordsetter.com record. It's like Guinness Book of World Records-lite, she said.
Turlock Unified School District spokeswoman Marie Russell said the High Five Activity will be rescheduled. She said the rumored threats also shut down any walkout that may have occurred. Turlock High was among 11 Stanislaus County schools where students registered to participate in the nationwide walkout to protest gun violence.
Early Friday morning on the Turlock Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook, Turlock police Chief Nino Amirfar commented on the rumored threats. "Our officers have been able to track down the text messages, etc. It is somewhat convoluted but it is important that you know that there is no credible threat."
A mass email sent to many school districts last week threatened a school shooting and bombing, the chief wrote. The spam emails led to local students spreading misinformation through texts and social media, he said.
"The whole thing has morphed into a frenzy of misinformation, incorrect assumptions and unproven comments," Amirfar said, "and frankly some very irresponsible statements."