Social media post causes concern for parents at N.S. elementary school
More than half the kids at a school in Amherst, N.S., spent Wednesday at home over what police are calling “social media misinformation.”
Many parents of students at Spring Street Elementary School had read comments online attributed to someone worried about three specific children, stating something terrible would happen and "the hell with everyone else, they can die."
In a police statement, Chief Ian Naylor of Amherst Police says, "We are aware there is a lot of conversation about this matter on social media which has resulted in a great deal of misinformation and speculation.”
“Our investigation has not identified any threat to anyone, and the school is a safe place,” said Naylor.
The investigation has identified a man living in the community who believes Amherst will soon come to an end, and no one in the area when the “end of the world event” occurs will survive.
Naylor says they've spoken to the man and no offences have occurred.
The school sent a note home to parents Tuesday evening stating there was increased police presence at the school, but no other specifics.
“We are bound by confidentiality for our students and for our staff, and when you're dealing especially with minors like we are in the school board, their confidentiality is of the utmost importance,” said Debbie Buott-Matheson of the Chignecto School Board.
Some say social media has fanned the flames of concern in this case.
“People aren't feeling safe in their community because of information out there,” said Naylor. “Most of it is misinformation that's out there in social media.”
Both police and school board officials are hoping school attendance will be back to normal on Thursday. However, both acknowledge it's ultimately the parent's decision as to whether that will happen.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.