An alarming scenario is playing out in schools throughout the nation: a call is received reporting a shooting at the school. Someone possesses a firearm. Police are called, only for them to learn that the report was false.
In this article, we will get to read about:
- The people who call are a part of a trend that is disturbing school schedules.
- Swatting events have been recorded at schools in 14 different states.
- Threats against HBCUs have not resulted in any actual violence.
The people who call are a part of a trend that is disturbing school schedules.
Just this past week, rumours of a phoney shooter or mass casualty catastrophe targeted more than a dozen schools in Minnesota. In response to threats, the city of Denver closed all 25 of its public library locations, while a nearby high school called off classes on Wednesday amid an uptick in hoaxes reported at schools around the state. Fort Worth police issued a caution against school hoaxes after a Texas kid was detained for reporting a false threat to campus as a “joke.”
The calls are a part of a pattern that is upsetting school schedules, causing lockdowns, and further distressing already tense communities. Even though these threats are false, the threat of actual violence still exists only a few months after a shooter shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The Educator’s School Safety Network, which has recorded violent occurrences at schools, was founded by Amy Klinger, director of programmes, and she stated, “It’s really reflective of how people have weaponized the fear that we have about an active shooter against us.”
Since September 13, swatting events have been recorded at schools in 14 different states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, according to the national association of school resource officers. Untrue allegations of a shooting this week led to the lockdown of a high school in San Antonio, where a man is said to have wounded his arm while attempting to shatter a window.
Louisiana has also been impacted; on Thursday, reports about active shooter threats or mass fatalities were made to at least 15 schools. Officials stated that the complaints originated from an internet-based phone number with an out-of-state area code.
According to Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, these calls put pressure on police resources. According to him, swatting “triggers what should be a very urgent event response from law enforcement, from other emergency services, from the school — it is a lot of resources, time being used up.”
Additionally impacted in Louisiana, where at least 15 schools received calls on Thursday reporting active shooter threats or mass casualties. According to officials, the complaints were made from a phone number with an out-of-state area code that was used to access the internet.
Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers, said that these calls put a strain on the police department’s resources. Swatting “triggers what should be a very serious event response from law enforcement, from other emergency services, from the school—it is a lot of resources, that is taking up time,” he said.
Swatting events have been recorded at schools in 14 different states
The FBI is aware of the calls and stated in a statement that it “takes swatting extremely seriously because it puts innocent individuals at risk.” It stated that it is working with local, state, and federal law enforcement to gather information because it has no “information to indicate a specific and credible danger.” Concerns regarding who may be placing the calls and whether they are connected were not addressed by the agency.
Significant police response was called for on Tuesday in response to a report of an active shooter at Roosevelt High School in Northwest Washington. The report was bogus, according to the police.
According to Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for the D.C. police, “the caller indicated there was an active shooter inside the school and offered detailed information to suggest there were numerous students who had been hurt, and that someone was armed with a vest and a rifle.”
The school entered a lockdown, according to a letter to parents from acting principal Brandon Eatman. From the moment Eatman claimed he learned of the event until the police had completed searching the school’s grounds, the whole ordeal took up almost an hour of the day.
President of the parent-teacher association Yolanda Anderson, who has two teenagers enrolled at Roosevelt, claimed to have learned of the threat from another parent. She sent her kids a text right away. A social worker she later spoke to reported that some students were crying and that adults appeared clearly scared. Anderson stated that the situation has been frustrating and that she believes swatting has become more common on social media.
That is what enrages me, she replied. “The fact that students, children, or users of TikTok find it amusing to spend public cash or create needless trauma.”
Threats against HBCUs have not resulted in any actual violence.
Disgruntled parents, students, ex-employees, or random internet users who find it amusing to draw such a strong response from law enforcement are just a few of the many potential perpetrators, according to Klinger. Because protecting students is their top priority, she added, school systems frequently lack the time to look into how legitimate a threat is.
According to a letter sent to parents by the Virginia school system, an unidentified person called 911 on Monday to report an active shooter incident at the Loudoun Valley and Loudoun County high schools. Patrol and school resource officers looked into the complaints right away and found them to be untrue. Police looked into comparable reports of fictitious threats made against schools in Arlington and nearly ten other Virginia school systems.
These phoney threats, which are being looked into in elementary schools, come after high-profile bomb threats that have been made against historically Black institutions and universities since January. This year, threats were made against at least 36 HBCUs or more than one-third of the historically Black colleges and universities in the nation. According to Wayne A.I. Frederick, president of Howard University, eight attacks have been made against the institution.
Frederick urged academics to grant students a break in a letter to the university, adding that “worry, disrupted slumber, and other elements that can flow from this kind of traumatic encounter” can result from this kind of experience.
According to Canady of the school resource officers union, students had just undergone more than two years of a pandemic, virtual learning, and “just the overall surge of violence in our society.” “It is criminal to compound it by fabricating a major occurrence and further traumatise them.”