Every parent wants to make sure their children are safe at school, but some students at Groves High are questioning their safety. They say there's a gang problem at the school. WTOC was at Groves today, looking into the problem. The principal says it's just a case of the rumor mill out of control, sending many students and parents into a state of panic. Others say the gang threats are real.
The students sense something is wrong. Many of their friends aren't in class, police officers are patrolling campus, and parents can be seen roaming the halls. "Just walk around, you can feel the anxiety in these kids," said parent Linda Stevens. She's part of Parents on Patrol, a volunteer program that tries to help students feel safer in school. That's especially important these days, with what happened last week.
"A student heard a conversation between two other students that they were going to get another student or a bunch of other students," explained Dr. Lucy Phillip, the school's principal. She says that's when the talk of gangs spread quickly on campus, causing a few parents to pull their kids out of school
That's a measure Stevens says is unnecessary. "Get a visitor's pass and walk around. If you still feel uneasy, this is the way to tell if you want to pull your kid out of school," she said.
And Principal Phillip added, "I take rumors seriously. We'll continue to do what we can, but right now we have nothing." She says the student that made the threats no longer attends Groves High School. Even so, many parents are having a meeting tomorrow night at the school cafeteria to talk about their children's safety.