Technology Being Used for Bomb, Other Threats to Schools
The use of technology to post threats to schools and other facilities has been highlighted by some incidents in the Seattle area recently, even in Tri-Cities as well.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports school authorities across the country are growing concerned over the use of technology, cellphones, social media and other digital tools to post threats, such as bomb threats, to schools.
Last fall, Lakota Middle School in Federal Way was evacuated over an email received from a reported Inslamic group that threatened to "shoot and kill" every American. Later a 14-year-old student was arrested after admitting she had a friend send the email because she thought it would be funny if her school were "swatted."
"Swatting" refers to someone creating or causing an incident at a school or elsewhere that requires a response by local or regional SWAT teams.
Similar incidents have occurred in Mt. Vernon, WA, and Seven Lakes High on the West side was evacuated last January over such an incident.
You may recall the 52-year-old man in 2013 who was eventually captured and tried in court for phoning in a bomb threat to Columbia Basin College that caused a day-long evacuation and cancellation of classes. Stephen Brown of Finley used a disposable cellphone to leave the threat with the school.
Last week, a student was arrested in Kissimmee, Florida for using Twitter to post a bomb threat against Gateway High School because she was "angry and didn't want to go to school."
Officials say social media and technology, if misused, have greatly eroded security in America; they urge parents to carefully and closely monitor the online and social media activities of their children, regardless of age.
Police say there's a number of controversial apps available to teens that if discovered, should be deleted from children's phones.