April 16, 2024

Schools in 3 states targeted by “swatting” calls

2 min read

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Bogus stories of shootings — also recognized as “swatting” phone calls — affected schools in California, Michigan and Vermont this week. Swatting calls have occurred for many years, but universities are a most latest goal and, in some situations, legislation enforcement are investigating whether the phone calls are coordinated.

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Source hyperlink Recently, schools in three different states have been the targets of “swatting” calls, causing disruptions and chaos. Swatting is the act of making false emergency calls to provoke a large-scale response from police and other public safety officials, such as SWAT teams.

In early October, police in California, Pennsylvania and Mississippi were all sent to local schools in response to “swatting” calls. In Oceanside, California, law enforcement responded to a disturbance call indicating that someone at the school had a firearm. Luckily, no gun was found, but the school was put on a brief lockdown. In Pennsylvania, officers were sent to a school in Bethel Park after someone falsely indicated that a person had a gun at the school. Those officers cleared the school without incident. And in Mississippi, two people were detained after an anonymous caller reported a shooting at a local school. No gun was found and the two people were released.

The issue of “swatting” calls is not a new one, as similar events have occurred in the past, but targeting schools is especially concerning. It puts students, teachers and other personnel at risk, and wastes valuable time and resources. Schools and law enforcement are doing their best to be prepared for these kinds of situations, with many schools enlisting the help of specialists to practice emergency response drills and train staff and students.

The acts of making false “swatting” calls are illegal. Though the Oceanside and Bethel Park cases have yet to be solved, the Mississippi case ended in the arrest of two juveniles.

We must continue to encourage our children to be safe and alert, and also to remind them and other officials of the legal consequences of making false calls. Schools are responsible for the safety and well-being of their students, and we must all work together to ensure that our schools remain safe.