A PARENT has told of the panic which spread at a York school when pupils arrived today to find "armed police everywhere".

She revealed how false rumours spread at Joseph Rowntree School that there was someone in school with a gun, with talk of a bomb also having been planted.

The parent was speaking at the end of a day in which a teenage boy was arrested at the school following a call from a concerned parent that a pupil had allegedly "made threats on social media."

The school sought tonight to reassure parents that at no time today was their child in any danger, said the police presence was simply to reassure pupils there was no danger and revealed that the school and police had been investigating social media rumours for several weeks.

The parent told The Press that parents started receiving "panicked phone calls from their kids" as they arrived at school.

"My daughter arrived at school at 8.30am and saw armed police everywhere and lots of children leaving," said the parent.

"She tried to find some teachers to find out what was happening and couldn’t find any.

"She rang me to tell me there were armed police everywhere and she didn’t know what was happening but a lot of pupils were leaving because they said there was someone in school with a gun and there was also talk of a bomb having been planted.

"Parents started arriving to pick their children up and still couldn’t find any information from the school or teachers about what the threat was, so took their children home.

"It wasn’t until well over an hour later – at 9.30am – that the school sent out a text message to say there were some 'rumours on social media' but the school was open and safe as usual.

"The school should have let parents and students know from the beginning what the threat was and how it was being tackled."

But the school head teacher Lynne Hardcastle said in a letter to parents that the "safety of your child is paramount to us and if we felt there was any risk we would be in contact with you immediately".

She said: "The police presence at school today was simply to reassure all the school population that there was no danger and the young person at the centre of this issue was at no time unattended in school and left the premises just after 9am to help the police with their enquiries."

She also wrote: "We fully understand that parents/carers have become very concerned today regarding the safety of their child due to some messages on social media.

"Can I please reassure parents that at no time today was their child in any danger.

"The rumours surrounding an alleged incident today were completely unfounded.

"The school in partnership with the local police force had been investigating these rumours for several weeks and the police had concluded that there was no risk to students."