All it takes is a tiny spark to escalate a juicy rumor into a raging wildfire.

With the growth of social media and the numerous platforms available for individuals to communicate, it’s now easier and faster to get information to a mass audience.

Never mind the details.

Forget about the facts.

Some people are more concerned with reading or hearing a good rumor and then adding to it.

Such was the case Saturday night when a rumor began that a student brought a gun to the Marinette High School Winterfest Dance and there was going to be a shooting at 10:45 p.m.

The Marinette Police Department received a call shortly after 10:30 p.m. They responded quickly with five units on the scene within minutes. Upon arrival they found that school liaison officer Amy Schoen and school officials had expeditiously resolved the matter.

It was a verbal rumor started by an unknown person, according to a press release from the MPD. There was no weapon found, no social media post located and no first-hand witnesses came forward.

The police statement said it was an unsubstantiated rumor and there is no ongoing threat to the community. MHS principal Justine Braatz made similar statements in a letter sent by email to parents.

“There was no threat and our students were never in any danger,” she wrote.

Back to social media. We saw one thread that began with a person asking why so many police cars were speeding toward the high school. That simple question ignited the kindling. Roaring flames soon followed.

People said a student had a gun and that the “stupid kid” in question has been “a little off” since elementary school. Some said their children saw a gun or heard about the threat.

The discussion included observations and rants on school violence, gun control and bullying. Before too long, some of the people, many of them parents, began arguing and calling each other names.

Many people blamed the “troubled” student and prayed that the student gets the help needed. Some people posted the student’s name but then it was wisely removed.

We surmise that nearly 100 percent of the people posting on social media knew nothing about the situation. They knew police were called to the high school because of a possible threat.

Some will claim they knew what was happening because they talked to their children. But in all likelihood, most of the students at the dance didn’t know the facts.

Ultimately, the situation was handled professionally and swiftly by the liaison officer and school personnel. The police had to react how they did, rushing to the scene after getting the call. They were not at the school long once they found the matter was under control.

We hope whoever started this vicious rumor faces consequences for their actions. Additionally, we hope the student falsely accused can recover and move forward. That student did nothing wrong.

We also wish people would refrain from making assumptions and wildly feeding the rumor mill until facts can be presented. Please wait for people with direct knowledge (in this case police and school officials) of a situation to provide information.

We certainly don’t want to curb discussion on issues. All we ask is that people think before making comments based on hearsay and gossip.

It’s understandable that parents are upset if their children are at the dance and they hear such a rumor. But taking to social media does not help the situation.

And, finally, we ask that you get the story from accredited news sources.