An overheard conversation about video games was taken the wrong way, leading to a Massachusetts high school being shut down, and one of the teenagers taking part in the conversation being arrested and taken to jail, The Valley Dispatch is reporting.
The incident took place at Fitchburg High School on Friday morning at about 9:00 am. A group of students at the high school was discussing the type of video game referred to as a “shooter,” when another group of students, unaware of the context, overheard the conversation about guns, shooting, and violence, and took the matter to the adults in the school.
Fitchburg High School principal Jeremy Roche, with the help from the school’s resource officer, determined which students were having the conversation about the video game and searched them, their lockers, and their belongings for weapons, while the school was placed on lockdown for 20 minutes. No weapons were found.
“Myself and the school resource officer and other faculty members quickly determined there was no actual threat in the form of weapons.”
Because the high school was placed on lockdown, the principal sent a message via social media to parents to put their fears to rest.
This am a potential threat was reported and investigated quickly. There was no threat to students/staff and school is safe/secure. Thanks.
— Jeremy Roche (@Principal_FHS) December 5, 2014
Despite the disruption to the day’s activities at the high school, and despite no weapons being found, principal Roche praised the students who reported the conversation about violent video games to the teachers, saying that the safest schools are schools where the students feel comfortable talking to teachers and administrators about their concern.
Police Sgt. Mark Jackson told The Telegram that conversations about violence, and violent video games, are forbidden at the school. Because that rule was broken, and because the school was placed on lockdown because of the student’s actions, one of the students involved in the conversation was arrested and charged with disruption of a school assembly, which is a crime in Massachusetts.
This is not the first time an innocent misunderstanding has led to a school being put on lockdown. Last year, an entire school district in Pennsylvania was placed on lockdown, according to this Inquisitr report, when a school secretary heard the words “shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school,” from the theme song to the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and thought they said “shootin’ some people outside of the school.”
As of this post, it is unclear what specific video game the students were talking about that led to their high school being locked down.
[Image courtesy of: Bon Secours In Motion]