Update: "Good Amount" of Students Absent After "Purge" Rumors
Update 6:00 p.m.
Danville, VA - George Washington Principal says "a good amount" of students were absent from G-W High School on Friday after rumors there would be a purge.
The threats center around the movie "The Purge" - where people are allowed 12 hours to commit crimes, consequence free.
Parents of G-W High School students say they received a message from the principal on Thursday that there would be increased security at the school on Friday.
Students were also allowed to have an excused absence.--------------------------------------------------------Danville, VA -- In the movie 'The Purge' people have 12 hours to commit crimes, including murder, consequence-free. Now parents in Danville are on edge after talks of a possible purge at George Washington High School Friday. In fact, the rumor has been spread throughout social media. Some parents are going so far as to keep their kids home Friday, just in case.
The movie 'The Purge' has struck fear beyond the big screen. This week, rumors litter social media, mainly Facebook, indicating students possibly planning violent acts at George Washington High School Friday, similar to the concept of the movie.
"I'm terrified. You just don't know, you can't take threats like this lightly," says Deborah Morton, parent.
Morton has a 9th grader at GW. She says he's heard the rumors but she's more concerned.
"This is something that kids at random were going to start hitting, punching, maybe possibly bringing in weapons, hurting other kids just because," says Morton.
Morton says she's inclined to keep her son home. But he has special needs and perfect attendance.
"He has to be on a regular schedule. Everything has to be pretty much the same everyday. Any type of interruption it will cause him anxiety," says Morton.
Morton tells us GW's principal sent out a message to parents that they were planning to amp up security Thursday and Friday. And any absence Friday will be considered excused. But unlike the movie, of course, any violence would come with consequences. Danville Police say they too have heard of the rumors going around and they tell us they're working with the schools.
"Some people have called and have heard rumors that the Danville Police Department has advised people to stay at home and that kind of thing and that is not the case," says Mike Wallace, Danville Police Department.
While Police couldn't confirm if they plan to increase security, they do say they plan on making sure Friday will be just a normal day.
Police would not discuss with us if they're doing anything to get to the bottom of these threats or the penalty for spreading rumors of threats, nor would they say if they're considering the threat viable.
We have also made several calls to Danville's Superintendant and as of Thursday afternoon, we have not heard back.