Parents pull children from classes after gang threats - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Parents pull children from classes after gang threats

Gang threats at a middle school in Covington had parents pulling their children from class Wednesday as school officials urged calm.

At dismissal time Wednesday, parents poured into the parking lot at Crestview Middle School in Covington.  Normally, 900 students leave at 3:00 p.m.  Wednesday, the number barely topped 700. 

Principal Tim Fite said students started checking out because of "a perceived threat."

Extra police officers patrolled the school's campus Wednesday after unfounded rumors of gang violence on campus spread through Covington.  The innuendo came just five days after school employees found a gun in an eighth grade student's backpack, along with gang literature.

Fite said neither Crestview Middle, or any other school in Tipton County, is currently battling a gang issue.

"As far as us knowing about any gangs per se, such as the Bloods or Crips, you know, there's been some gang signs we've seen out in the community, not so much in the school," he said.

Crestview's school resource officer said the gangs there do not have the organization common in big city gangs, and are rather mostly children looking for attention.

Outside the school, parent O.C. Parker said all four of his children go to Crestview.  All heard the rumors, but left school at their normal time.

"It's a great school system, and they're doing the best they can to protect our kids," Parker said.

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