A high school student wearing makeup resembling that of the Joker from a Batman movie startled students and began a series of rumors at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale on Tuesday afternoon.
With heightened awareness of odd behavior in light of the deadly shootings at a Connecticut elementary school last week, officials with the Deer Valley Unified school called Glendale police to investigate the student, according to Heidi Vega with the district.
After interviewing the boy on campus, searching through emails, Facebook pages and text messages, investigators decided the boy posed no threat, Vega said.
Still, school officials said they feared rumors about the student would disrupt finals this week, so they asked him to take his finals early and not return to the campus until school is back in session in January after the Christmas break, Vega said. The district did not elaborate on the rumors.
The villain Joker was played by Heath Ledger in the 2008 movie The Dark Knight.
A phone message sent to all of the students' parents or guardians by Principal Debra Poulson said the student possibly made threatening statements and that the school has requested an increased police presence on campus.
Here is the complete message as posted on the school district's website:
"There is information I feel is very important to communicate with you tonight. Due to recent events, I want to personally keep you informed about a situation that was brought to our attention. Today, administration received a tip about a student possibly making a threatening statement to our campus.
"After a school investigation started, the Glendale Police Department was immediately contacted and arrived shortly to the school campus. Many police officers began their own investigation and helped lead with the school investigation. Thus far, the police have found no credible threat.
"We have requested additional police to patrol our campus. It's important we keep you updated with the most accurate and correct information and work together to help our students stay focused on learning."
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