Internet rumors about the threat of a shooting at Selma High School kept nearly one-third of students home Tuesday, authorities said.
Though the threat turned out to be a hoax, about 500 of the campus' 1,700 students were absent after the rumors spread on Facebook over the past few days, Selma Unified Superintendent Mark Sutton said.
Police and school officials investigated the rumors and visited the homes of students implicated in the Facebook postings about 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sutton said. The students and their families said they knew nothing about the threats and were cooperative with officials, he said.
In fact, the rumor stemmed from a threat made by a student more than a year ago that was handled at the time, Sutton said.
Nonetheless, he said, "We can't afford not to take things like this seriously."