Fact check: Claim of active shooter at Georgia high school is part of widespread hoax

The claim: Students were shot at Savannah High School in Georgia on Nov. 30

In the days after a series of mass shootings around the country, an array of Facebook posts claimed a school in Savannah, Georgia, was the latest site of a shooting.

“Active shooter at Savannah High right now kids have been shot please keep them in your prayer,” reads a Nov. 30 Facebook post that was shared almost 1,500 times in one day. “Sad sad day. Lord we need you.”

Other versions of the claim spread widely on the social media platform, claiming as many as 20 children had been killed.

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But the claim is baseless. A report of a gunman prompted a search of the school, but school and law enforcement officials said no shooting happened. The campus was one of many in Georgia that were targeted by active shooter hoaxes on Nov. 30.

USA TODAY reached out to users who shared the claim for comment.

Savannah High School one of many targeted by active shooter hoax

Sheila Blanco, a spokesperson for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, said claims of an active shooter at the school were false.

After receiving a call reporting a gunman, the school was evacuated and a full sweep of the campus was conducted.

A Charlottesville Police vehicle is parked on Culbreath Road during an active shooter situation on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Va., on Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. Three people have been killed and two others were wounded in a shooting at a parking garage at the University of Virginia, according to the school’s president, and police searched Monday for a student who was a suspect.

“There were no weapons on campus, and no one was found to be armed,” Blanco said. She said there is no indication a student or staff member was involved in the hoax, but noted the investigation is ongoing.

The school district posted a similar statement on its Facebook page that said all students were safe.

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More than a dozen schools around the state were targeted by false active shooter claims on Nov. 30, according to WSAV-TV in Savannah.

Other local outlets, including the Savannah Morning News and WSB-TV in Atlanta, also reported on the hoaxes.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement that referred to the false reports as “acts of domestic terrorism."

Tony Thomas, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Atlanta field office, told USA TODAY the agency is working to identify the source of the hoaxes. Thomas added that hoaxes drain law enforcement resources, waste taxpayer money and cause "undue stress and fear" among the public.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that students were shot at Savannah High School in Georgia on Nov. 30. The school was evacuated and searched after a caller reported a gunman on campus, but district and law enforcement officials said no shooting happened. It was one of more than a dozen schools around the state targeted by active shooter hoaxes that day.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim of active shooter at Georgia high school