Carmel High School principal addresses social media rumors, says there’s no school shooting threat


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CARMEL, Ind.– Carmel High School Principal Dr. Tom Harmas sent a letter to parents and staff regarding several recent incidents at Carmel Schools, including rumors of a possible school shooting.

Harmas said on Wednesday, administrators were made aware of a rumor of a possible school shooting, on the same day as 17 people were fatally shot at a high school in Florida. The rumor started due to a string of text messages between a group of students.

“To paraphrase, they were talking about the past two weeks’ events and then a student wrote that he didn’t want something like a school shooting to happen. Another wrote to a friend that a dangerous time would be when all the students are in a convocation. Then others chimed in saying ‘let’s talk about good things’ and they began to write about puppies,” Harmas wrote in the letter.

Harmas said this ended up becoming a rumor that there was going to be a school shooting at Friday’s convocation.

“To be clear, a threat was never made,” said Harmas. “Ladies and gentlemen, there is not a convocation on Friday and there has never been a convocation scheduled on Friday. NEVER.”

He said many have shared a video with administrators which shows a student showing off ammunition magazines. The video has been investigated and has been deemed to not be a threat to students or staff.

Harmas also noted an incident last week where a student pulled a knife on another student in a bathroom. The girl being threatened disarmed the boy and alerted authorities. The male student was arrested and is facing several charges. Harmas said the girl did not miss any days of school afterward.

He also said there were two altercations on Tuesday.

“The first lasted literally 2 seconds and the second lasted 1.5 seconds before staff members stepped in. So this was a total of 2 altercations lasting a combined 3.5 seconds,” said Harmas. “Again, the school and Carmel Police Department dealt with these issues appropriately.”

He said he sent the letter out as a way to provide facts instead of people reading rumors on social media.

“We appreciate students, staff, parents and the community’s willingness to report events. We believe in ‘See Something, Say Something.’ Because of this, we have been able to investigate each event, even before most of you knew what was happening. Social media, when used incorrectly, can be damaging to people. Always remember to use this only in a responsible manner.

“We have been working closely with Carmel Police Department to ensure the safety of everyone in this building.

“We are a Greyhound family and we have always taken care of one another and we always will.

“Now everyone take a second to breathe. We are all OK and looking out for one another. We will move forward. That is what makes Carmel High School a special place for everyone.”

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