Troup County School System increases security over social media rumor

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 11, 2015

Online ‘threat’ prompts precaution

Staff report

LaGRANGE — The Troup County School System increased security at schools Friday as a precautionary response to rumors spread on various Facebook pages about alleged threats to schools nationwide.

The system issued the following statement Friday morning:

“The Troup County School System increased security today in response to social media rumors aimed at the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

Upon the notice of the rampant rumors late yesterday afternoon, district officials consulted local and state law enforcement officials, including the LaGrange Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and Joint Terrorism Task Force, regarding these nationwide rumors.

All of the agencies confirmed that they received no credible evidence to warrant these threats regarding Troup County School System, our students or staff.

As a heightened precaution, there is an increase in security at each school, administrators and staff are aware of the non-substantiated threats and are prepared to handle if necessary, and police officers will continuously monitor school activity throughout the day.

TCSS takes security and student/staff safety very seriously. We work to obtain all details and consult necessary parties before issuing a statement as not to cause unnecessary confusion. Thanks for your support as we continue providing a safe and secure learning environment for the students and staff of TCSS.”

No such incidents were reported at any schools Friday.

The message of the threat, which is attributed to a South Carolina general and has since spread to various pages, claims that a connection with the NSA and Department of Homeland Security told the poster that agencies are on high alert because “Black Panthers have been given the order to go into schools and colleges and kill all the white kids and teachers” along with police and any other white people on Sept. 11, which the post erroneously refers to being Monday.

An article on, a website dedicated to examining the legitimacy of urban legends and rumors, details its findings on the threat, which it deems “probably false.”

The article also notes, “The message echoes countless other false rumors about black gang members supposedly planning murder sprees involving the killing of innocent, randomly-selected (white) victims. Police in the South Carolina cities mentioned in the warning (Union, Gaffney, Spartanburg) told us they had no information indicating that ‘Black Panthers’ or ‘gang members’ were planning to attack schools in the area on Monday, 11 September 2015, and that parents were not being advised to keep their children home from school that day (which is actually a Friday, not a Monday).”