“There Is No Threat Here, And Your Students Are Safe.”
A social media threat towards area high schools ended up being a false alarm
A potentially dangerous situation turned out to be okay this morning, thanks to some alert students and Sioux Falls Police.
The Sioux Falls School District was notified about a threatening message found on social media.
But, the post wasn’t actually aimed at a Sioux Falls school.
Students at Lincoln High School and Roosevelt High School saw a post on Instagram about a potential shooting at school.
After area law enforcement thoroughly investigated, it was determined the post was intended for a school in Florida.
“There is no threat here, and your students are safe.” That was the message parents with kids in the Sioux Falls School District received this morning.
“I was happy that they had informed us because I had already received a text from someone,” says Dawn Ruge, just before picking up her son at Memorial Elementary. ”The information is going to get out there, and I’d rather hear it from the source of the school rather than listening to the rumors.”
The rumors started when the post was threatening a high school that had a similar name to one here in Sioux Falls.
Students who saw the post, reported it to administrators before school started.
“Right away law enforcement was involved and we notified the SRO’s in our schools who can look into that very quickly to determine how much of a risk there is,” says Interim Assistant Superintendent Celest Uthe-Borow.
Uthe-Burow says that risk turned out to be non-existent.
But the incident isn’t a wash; the school district says there’s an important message behind it.
The voicemail that went out stated “technology is a powerful tool. Please talk to your student about using it to spread the positive things that are happening in school and not fulfilling into rumors and fear.”
“It’s always good first of all to have that open dialogue with your kids at all times, and hearing what they are seeing and saying on social media,” says Uthe-Borow.
Which is concept most parents are comfortable with, because they know it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“If something was not done and something happened, where would we be then?” says Ruge.
Uthe-Burow says this is a perfect example of the districts ‘See Something Say Something Campaign’ where students are encouraged to come forward when they notice something unusual.
If parents are looking for more ways to become educated about social media, the school district suggests visiting sites like mashable.com and knowthenet.org.