Bathroom graffiti threat reported at Edythe J. Hayes Middle, shooting rumor cancels event at Tates Creek High

A student at Lexington’s Edythe J. Hayes Middle School on Friday reported finding graffiti in a girls’ restroom threatening violence, and an event was canceled at Tates Creek High School when a student reported a rumor about a shooting.

At Edythe J. Hayes, “the student reported what she saw to her teacher, who immediately alerted school leaders,” principal Dave Hoskins said in a letter to families. “Working with the Fayette County Department of Law Enforcement, our administrative team has been investigating the incident.”

Hoskins noted that across the state, similar threats had been found in school bathrooms.

“While we must take any and all threats seriously, we feel strongly that this is a copycat incident by a student who is hoping for a day off of school,” Hoskins wrote. “Please help us to remind our youngsters that situations like this are extremely serious. While some may think this is a joke, it is important that our students understand that making threats against a school is a felony under state law.”

Meanwhile, Fayette County Public Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall confirmed in an email Saturday that an event called Tates Creek Madness had been cancelled at Tates Creek High School on Friday “purely as a precautionary measure.”

Deffendall shared a letter that Tates Creek High School principal Sam Meaux sent to families Friday.

“Yesterday afternoon, one of our students reported a rumor about a shooting at school today. Law enforcement and our school administrators investigated the rumor and found absolutely no threat or validity to this talk,” Meaux wrote. “Students who are aware of a real threat to safety are encouraged to share what they have heard, but spreading unfounded rumors can cause unnecessary panic and concern.”

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears