KEYSER - Concerned about the way an online altercation between two Keyser Middle School students escalated last week into the rumor of a student coming to school with a gun, the Citizens for a Better Keyser have called a meeting Thursday for the involved parties to discuss the issue.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
@lizbeavers1
KEYSER - Concerned about the way an online altercation between two Keyser Middle School students escalated last week into the rumor of a student coming to school with a gun, the Citizens for a Better Keyser have called a meeting Thursday for the involved parties to discuss the issue.
According to Shawn Snyder of the group, representatives of the Mineral County School System, as well as local law enforcement, have been invited to attend and answer any questions concerned parents might have about the specific incident or how it escalated so quickly on social media.
Snyder said he personally met with superintendent of schools Shawn Dilly Monday morning, and told the News Tribune that the superintendent was very supportive of the proposed dialogue.
Since he will be out of town at the time, however, he will be sending several administrative personnel to participate in the Thursday meeting.
Snyder emphasized, however, that this is not a public meeting, but rather a chance for the parents to address their concerns in regards to this specific incident.
“Speaking privileges will be limited solely to those parents with children currently attending Mineral County Schools,” he said. “There will be no tolerance for outbursts or direct verbal accusations.”
Snyder said the Citizens for a Better Keyser are backing the local authorities in their actions regarding the incident, and especially desire to address the “damaging misinformation via social media.”
According to Officer Chase McKenzie of the Keyser Police Department, who investigated the incident, the altercation began between two male KMS students, but there was no physical contact and no gun.
“Nothing happened at the school; it was all on social media,” he said.
The discussion on social media took on a life of its own, however, and McKenzie said, “One parent apparently even called the Governor, and he called out the State Police.”
Snyder said he is hopeful that the discussion on Thursday will help calm the parents’ fears “for the welfare of their child in attendance at any county school.”
The meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the courtroom at the Mineral County Courthouse.