Mingo Central High School has been the subject of controversy this week, but school officials say reports of problems at the school have been blown out of proportion.
The issues began Tuesday when the school had several altercations between students, according to MCHS Prinicpal Debra Harris.
She explained that, on Tuesday, the school was on “activity schedule,” meaning each class was cut short for five minutes. The accumulated time at the end of the school day was to be used for a pep rally, as MCHS was playing Belfry High School in a basketball game later that night.
“It started Tuesday, when we had a fire drill,” Harris said. “Two girls got in a fight on the way out of the building for the drill, then another two girls started fighting when we were coming back in, then another fight involving girls, and one with boys fighting each other.”
Harris said she decided to cancel the pep rally, in light of students having four physical altercations in one school day. Students spent the extra time in the last period of the day, Harris explained.
Tuesday afternoon, while students were still at school, a number of postings on Facebook mentioned the fights at school, and the reports were greatly exaggerated, Harris said.
“The reports on Facebook were that there were 18 fights, and more,” she told the Daily News. “Some of the postings said the school was on lockdown, and there were ambulances and state troopers here at the school, which is not true.”
She said one male student posted that he was going to “be packing” when he came to school on Wednesday, which school officials took to be a veiled threat to bring a gun to school. When those officials discovered the threat, the student had already left for the day.
However, when the student who had made the threat on Facebook returned to school Wednesday, he was questioned by West Virginia State Police. Charges may be pending against the student.
Harris told the Daily News that Mingo Central is holding a meeting after school Thursday for students, teachers, school personnel and parents to discuss the situation. The meeting will take place at 3 p.m. at Mingo Central. The public is invited to attend.