Social media

Masonic schools warn of new social media challenge, says students will suffer consequences

MASON, Ohio (WXIX) – Mason School officials are warning families in the community about students participating in a potentially dangerous new trend.

The Warren County School sent out a statement to families on Thursday warning of the “Orbeez Challenge,” a social media trend that is making its way across the country.

Florida and Georgia police departments cited similar incidents and even laid charges against suspects.

The challenge appears to encourage teens to perform “driving shots” with toy guns that use Orbeez-style pellets, the statement said.

A bus carrying about 10 to 12 Mason Middle School students was shot dead with a similar pellet gun on Monday.

It may have been done as part of the social media trend, says public information manager Tracy Carson.

Carson adds, “This trend also has the potential to cause fear or panic in that some of these gel guns are similar in design to popular airsoft guns, with some models (like the one used in the incident with our bus school) very closely resembling an actual firearm.

Although the suspects in the bus incident were not Mason students, Carson says toy guns are popular in the community and warns that students who bring squirt guns to school “will face academic consequences, may face legal consequences”.

The two suspects, ages 16 and 17, were arrested and charged with causing a panic, according to Mason police.

Families are encouraged to talk to their students about the safety issues and panic that toy guns could cause.

“It is expected that students will not have a gel gun on Mason City Schools property or at a Mason City Schools event at any time,” Carson wrote. “Failure to meet this expectation may result in suspension with recommendation for expulsion, and could also result in legal consequences. Please discuss this expectation with your child.

The Lockland Village Police Department also shared a Facebook post on Wednesday prohibiting the use of water guns.

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