Early Tuesday morning, a teenage girl in Bellaire admitted to police she deliberately started a rumor that was the source of panic within the school.
Police had been talking to the girl all along and they said, she told the truth about what happened. In the meantime, people in Bellaire said it wasn’t a harmless prank and it wasn’t funny.
The girl, 16, reportedly made up a story claiming someone was going to shoot up the school then she spread the rumor in the cafeteria.
“Yeah from the cafeteria it got posted onto Facebook,” said Acting Bellaire Police Chief, Dick Flanagan.
After learning about the rumor, parents rushed to the school to take their children out. Bellaire Police, sheriff’s deputies and the school resource officer responded. The school day got chaotic and Tuesday morning, Acting Chief Flanagan says, the girl admitted she made up the whole thing. She even drew a picture.
“She had a drawing, it was either of a building or a house. Had someone in the window yelling for help in the drawing. She admitted that she did the drawing. She admitted she had made this all up because she was mad and upset, but never did tell the reason why she was mad and upset,” Flanagan said.
Now it’s the public’s turn to be mad and upset.
“It could be very harmful. Yeah. Scare everybody. Even could give people heart attacks or whatever,” said Bonnie Bustamante of Bellaire.
Dominic Moscato of Bellaire said, “She made choices that now she has to pay for. I’m glad she came forward. That’s a step in the right direction. But that can be very serious. Especially this time, what’s going on in our country right now.”
“She should be expelled from school, that’s number one. And number two, I think she should go to a juvenile facility for probably 30 days just to give her a wake-up call,” said Butch Milbert of Mt. Olivet.
Flanagan said, “She could have caused a whole lot of grief for a whole lot of people.”
She has already been suspended from school. The police have sent their report to the prosecutor, recommending charges of inducing panic.