Social media fuels school threats

By Ava Joniec
Staff Reporter

According to newsweek.com, since the Parkland, Florida shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, 1,061 known social media threats have been made, which translates to an average of 10.9 per day. The limitless possibilities for a threat could be anywhere on social networking communities such as Snapchat and Instagram.

Extra security measures have been implemented at WCHS in order to immediately stop a threat if one should arise.

While social media has been an issue when it comes to threats, it has also been a key to helping discover the threats. Principal Tom Zobel has taken extra precautions for the safety of WCHS students.

Zobel described the security to prevent a threat from becoming an actual crisis.

“In order to stop any type of threat, students must watch and report any types of suspicious behavior. We have trained police officers monitoring the school grounds to prevent anyone entering the building,” Zobel said.

According to wsbtv.com, “the number of social media threats increased by 62 percent over the 2017-18 school year since the last year.”

Social media can be helpful in identifying these kind of threats, and hopefully stopping them in time.

Students can have an impact on the prevention of threats by monitoring social media and reporting any suspicious behavior. Surveillance made by police on social media has somewhat informed schools of threats that were found. Yet there are still many threats that may arise that may go unnoticed.

Social media also makes it more difficult to monitor though because of the vast expanse of communication. The sheer size can also make it difficult to monitor, because it cannot all be monitored all at once. Only so much can be supervised at one time which makes it extremely difficult to track every threat.

While social media can be a major problem when it comes to threats, it can also be a helpful resource to finding, stopping and preventing any sort of crisis from occurring. The police can monitor various platforms of social media to help protect the students and community from any form of danger.

Sophomore student Sarah Taylor had a recent experience with the threat against the pep-rally. She was one of several students who heard about the threat and went to the office to see if the threat had been taken care of. She went down to the office during lunch and discovered that the threat was tied back to an earlier report.

“The threat was mentioned to me at lunch and I just wanted to make sure we were safe,” Taylor said.

All threats are taken seriously and students should report anything they see.

 

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