Online threats made against Granite Falls school, students
GRANITE FALLS -- Police responded to Granite Falls High School Wednesday morning after word of a bomb threat spread on social media sites. They didn’t find anything, but they say they’re taking the threat seriously.
Ask.fm is a social media site that the superintendent of Granite Falls School District has become familiar with. Over the weekend, some threats against students were posted on the site, along with a warning that a bomb was going to go off at the high school.
“It’s a social media place where people can be anonymous,” School Superintendent Linda Hall said Wednesday. “So we don’t have any names to go on. We do take everything very seriously and we’re trying to keep kids as safe as possible.”
City and county law enforcement were notified, and they searched the school before allowing classes to start Wednesday Now they’re trying to warn the community about this new form of bullying.
“There’s always new sites and we’re always learning how to respond to the new sites coming up,” said Don Lauer, Granite Falls’ acting police chief.
“We did send a school messenger out to parents. So if they’re on our system, they’re getting emails and phone calls,” Hall said. “Those have already gone out.”
Parents can’t believe threats like this are being made in their small town.
“I am super glad I home-school,” said Jenny Hammer, a mother of three. “It’s scary these days. You can’t tell what’s going to happen, what other kids are going to do.”
Hammer says her 12-year-old son isn’t interested in social media yet. But she’s going to talk to him about what can happen online.
“I’ll leave that decision to him when he’s old enough. But I want to educate him to the dangers.”
Police say parents should monitor their kids’ online behavior. They should also call 9-1-1 if threats are made on any site.
As for this case, they’re going to keep patrolling the schools and talking to students, to find out who’s responsible.
“We’re going to take every threat seriously. We want to make sure students in Granite Falls, at every school, are safe,” said Lauer. “So we’re going to continue to have a presence to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep them safe.”
Police say if students are threatened online or by text, they should keep those messages. No evidence should be deleted until law enforcement can see it.
They have contacted Ask.fm for help with this case. But the site is based in Latvia and they haven’t gotten any cooperation yet.