Reacting to Rumors

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The Washoe County School District says it started as a conversation between two students, but it's the student who overheard what was said that actually started the rumors flowing.
Mike Mieras, the Chief of school police, says two students were talking about hunting.
Mieras says towards the end of the conversation, one of the two boys asked the other, 'What would we do if someone brought a gun to school?'

Paul Dugan, the superintendent, says another student overheard the conversation and reported it immediately.
Dugan says the two boys were contacted and they determined it was just a comment, not a threat.

But, the district blames modern technology for the out-of-control spiral of information that instigated extremely low attendance of students at Spanish Springs High School... all worried that their school would be the target of violence sometime Thursday afternoon.
Between text messaging and MySpace-dot-com, a popular internet chat site for teenagers, the district says controlling the rumors becomes hard to do.

Even news channel eight received a flood of phone calls and emails from parents and students worried about violence at the school.
One email, said "I have just been informed that there is some kind of hit list at Spanish Springs high school, the reason i know this is because I am a student there and my friend is on the hit list! The principal called my friends parents and told them to keep him out of school!"
The principal tells us he made no phone call to a parent, and had yet to hear any rumor about a hit list.

The district says the 16-year old sophomore who initially had the conversation did stay home Thursday, at the permission of his parents, while the investigation of the stream of rumors could be completed.