Rumors of poisoned lollipops in schools running rampant on Facebook
IREDELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Two Iredell County principals are having to calm parents after a rumor on Facebook went rampant about lollipops, drugs and hospitalized students.
According to school officials, a rumored started on Facebook that students at West Iredell Middle and High were given poison-laced lollipops at school and were sent to the hospital.
WBTV has learned that one student did go the hospital and tested positive for drugs, but sheriff's investigators and the school system say they can't substantiate that it had anything to do with candy.
"There are a lot of rumors that are out there, a lot of misinformation out there, at this point we don't have any reason to believe that anything has been distributed in our schools that's harmful to students," said Dawn Creason, Iredell Statesville Schools.
But sometimes rumors are heard louder than facts, and rumors spread quickly.
"I heard through some of the teenagers that they'd found some of the suckers at the school that were something to do with marijuana, THC levels in it," one person said. "I have six grandsons and a granddaughter and I'm concerned about it."
That kind of legitimate concern forced the principal's at both schools to respond.
"It kind of took off on social media and it was almost like we were the last to know that this was out there," said Creason.
The principals sent home this letter acknowledging misinformation, but making it clear that the rumor hasn't been substantiated. It's a modern day example of the power and influence of social media and how school systems have to respond.
"Parents in the community need to remember that we are not actively monitoring students or even parents social media page," Creason said. "We feel like that is an outside of school activity. We don't feel it our responsibility to monitor those pages. That's something as a parent if you choose to allow your parents to be on social media it's your responsibility to monitor those."
So if it wasn't drugs - what was on the lollipops?
The lollipops are coated with chili powder to make them hot; that may be the alleged poison, or drug laced aspect.
The school system and the sheriff's office reminds parents that there is nothing to substantiate these rumors.