A string of violence, followed by city-wide tension and threats on social media led to the cancellation of a high school football game in Warren, Ohio.
The cancellation followed two homicides in the city in the past two weeks.
According to tribdoay.com, school attendance at Warren G. Harding was down this week as rumors spread on social media sites about a possible "shootout" planned at the high school. Classes were held as scheduled.
According to the article:
Students were met at the doors of Warren G. Harding Tuesday by school resources officers and detectives from the Warren Police Department who checked purses and other belongings. Students were not permitted to carry book bags into the high school.
District superintendent Michael Notar said the heightened awareness was in response to a Facebook comment posted by a student on Monday.
"The social media and all that is still happening," Lt. Jeff Cole, spokesman for the Warren police, told Vindy.com on Friday. Cole said the department relayed those concerns to Notar, and school officials believed it would be best to cancel Warren G. Harding's game.
The football game will not be made up.
Notar issued a statement Friday defending the decision to cancel the game because of "tension throughout the city this week, and we felt for the safety of our students, parents, staff and community this is the right decision."
Not everyone was happy with the decision, however. Warren G. Harding's football team did not qualify for the state playoffs, meaning the high school careers for seniors on the team are over.
Second-year head coach Steve Arnold, a Warren native, had to break the news to his players.
"They took it hard, extremely hard," Arnold told Vindy.com. Arnold found out the cancellation at 2 p.m. Friday. "My concern is for our players, especially our seniors."
Arnold says, to his knowledge, there were no contingency plans to move the game to the opponent's home field or to a neutral site.
This seems like an appropriate time to revisit our nine social media dos and don'ts for student-athletes.