If looks can be deceiving, social media equals deception multiplied by countless clicks.
Divided by rumors of an alleged gun found during a supposed riot at Groveport Madison High School, the district met with concerned parents of the nearly 1,800 students who attend, like 10th grader David Neal Jr.
“Everyone was talking about the gun. People were saying it was found in the classroom in someone’s book bag like then pulled it out,” said Neal.
Neal’s mother Andrea Greenwell was one of the parents who attended the Groveport Madison Schools Safety meeting.
Greenwell also shared her fears with NBC4 on the night of the October 29 incident.
“I was more concerned about my son’s safety and the well of other children,” she said.
During a show and tell, Groveport Madison Schools Superintendent Garilee Ogden pointed to still images from video taken by the schools 79 security cameras of the fight and the 50 students Ogden said the district interviewed.
Ogden also shed light on that alleged gun.
“The blurry picture? It’s a student holding a pair of sunglasses. And we can zoom in to find that detail,” she said.
As for the supposed riot?
“It looked like more people were involved then there was,” Greenwell said.
Of countless parents initially critical of the district, Greenwell also saw proof through pictures that only six students were fighting and the rest were students changing classes or teachers trying to maintain order.
“I feel safer for my son. I think the superintendent was very informative. I think she had it broken down very well,” said Greenwell.
Ogden says it’s transparency plus honesty that she hopes eventually adds up to trust.
“I want to make sure that our students feel safe. And our staff. And our parents feel safe. They are sending their most prized possession to us. It’s our responsibility to keep them safe,” she said.
All six students involved in the fight face school discipline. Two of the six also face disorderly conduct charges.