Baldwin County School spokesperson Terry Wilhite said 12 students were suspended from Gulf Shores High School Friday, February 21 for “planning a disturbance” at the school that was rumored to happen at the school’s volleyball game. That game was canceled. He said no weapons were involved but the students will likely face criminal charges.
Wilhite said a lot of parents are also concerned about a “hit list” that’s going around school with students names on it.
He said the list is a rumor and spans from earlier in the week when three students were arrested on Wednesday for fighting.
But some parents believe the threat was real. Jessica Breland said her daughter was threatened at school Thursday, February 20.
“A girl she didn’t even know came up to her and said ‘you’re my assignment tomorrow. Tomorrow I’m taking you down’. If that’s not a hit list, I don’t know what is,” Breland said.
Breland said as a parent, she should have been notified about Wednesday’s fights and the rumors before Friday morning but instead, she found out through her daughter who was interviewed by a police officer Thursday.
“The past two days she’s come home visibly shaken from instances that have gone on,” Breland said.
She’s not the only parent concerned.
Hope Farrow said her daughter’s name was on the rumored “hit list”.
“I just told her you’re not going to school I’m keeping you home,” Farrow said.
Even though she hasn’t seen evidence of the list, she’s told her daughter’s boyfriend has received threatening text messages.
“It’s not just my daughter and her being in danger. I’m blessed my kid talks to me. But there are kids who are afraid to speak to their parents,” Farrow said.
Both parents said they want better communication from the school.
“I would like to know what is happening with my child her friends and know that in the future things will not be swept under the rug. We’re more worried about tarnishing our reputation then empowering the parents,” Breland said.
In response to some of the parent’s concerns, Wilhite said the school’s first priority is safety and the second is communication.
He said the Gulf Shores Police Department were investigating the social media rumors after school hours yesterday and found nothing but social media rhetoric.
The 12 students who were arrested Friday could face criminal charges.