How can Schools Deal with Copycat Threats Cybertraps 104

  • The Problem

  • https://twitter.com/kalane99/status/1471847077810515972

  • In the wake of virtually every school shooting, dozens (if not hundreds) of copycat threats are made to schools around the country.

  • Thanks to prevalence of mobile devices, threats are being made by students in virtually all grade levels

  • Such threats can initially be anonymous, although law enforcement has resources that can often reveal the initial poster

  • Threat can originate from anywhere in the world

  • A significant problem is ease with which such threats are reshared

  • School districts face problem that they cannot be wrong once about seriousness of threat

  • The intent of the poster (“just a joke”) or the poster’s inability to carry out the threat are NOT defenses

  • Vectors for Threats

  • Phone / Voicemail

  • Email

  • Social Media
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Snapchat
    • WhatsApp
    • TikTok
    • Etc.
  • Why Is This Happening?

  • Makers of copycat threats seek notoriety and enjoy the chaos they cause

  • Correlation between size of tragedy and number of copycat threats

  • Parents have a responsibility to supervise their children and warn about the potential consequences of making threats of violence

  • Effects

  • Disruption of routine

  • School cancellations

  • Mental health Issues

  • How Can We Reduce This Behavior?

  • Culture of cybersafety

  • Teachable Moments
    • Students
    • Parents
    • School Community
  • Cooperation between schools and law enforcement

  • Increased police presence?

  • What Are Social Media Platforms Doing?

  • https://twitter.com/TikTokComms/status/1471572096111239175

  • Algorithms and Human Inspection of Possible TOS violations

  • Automation to take down content that violates guidelines

  • Safety teams that coordinate with law enforcement

  • Can social media respond quickly enough?

  • Consequences for Children Who Make Threats

  • School sanctions

  • Counseling

  • Criminal proceedings
    • Fines
    • Jail Time
  • Resources

– #2021–12–18 At least a dozen students are ARRESTED nationwide following ‘school shooting TikTok challenge’ after copycat Ethan Crumbley massacre threats
“https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article–10324583/A-dozen-students-ARRESTED-nationwide-following-Michigan-copycat-school-shooting-TikTok-challenge.html”
– #2021–12–17 Copycat threats after Oxford school shooting leave juveniles facing drastic consequences
“https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2021/12/17/oxford-school-shooting-copycat-threats/8932506002/”
– #2021–12–17 Threats of school violence on TikTok spur educators into action
“https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2021/1217/Threats-of-school-violence-on-TikTok-spur-educators-into-action
” – #2021–12–17 Amid alleged TikTok school shooting threats, here’s what we know about app’s response
“https://www.recordonline.com/story/tech/2021/12/17/tiktok-alleged-school-threat-guidelines/8937761002/”
– #2021–12–16 School threats and their impact on students’ mental health
“https://www.fox17online.com/news/local-news/michigan/school-threats-and-their-impact-on-students-mental-health”
– #2021–12–16 School threats posted on TikTok deemed not credible; security beefs up across nation
“https://www.recordonline.com/story/news/nation/2021/12/16/tiktok-violence-threats-schools-united-states-security/8933323002/”
– #2021–12–13 Extra officers at JL Mann high school after threatening Snapchat post
“https://www.wyff4.com/article/greenville-county-school-district-responds-to-threatening-post/38496240”
– #2021–12–10 What’s behind all the ‘non-credible’ school threats in Virginia?
“https://www.wtvr.com/news/local-news/law-enforcement-responds-to-school-threats”
– #2021–12–08 Multiple students charged in string of copycat threats after Oxford High shooting
“https://abcnews.go.com/US/multiple-students-charged-string-copycat-threats-oxford-high/story?id=81623370”
– #2021–12–08 Two people in custody, charged with threatening metro Atlanta schools
“https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/loganville-high-school-atlanta-public-schools-student-arrested-threats/85–23e5e8ec–3f51–499b-b361–45ddd5109579”
– #2021–12–08 Richview Middle student arrested over threat posted to social media
“https://clarksvillenow.com/local/richview-middle-student-arrested-over-threat-posted-to-social-media/”
– #2021–12–08 Police arrest 13-year-old after second threat on Maple Valley Schools this week
“https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2021/12/08/police-arrest–13-year-old-after-another-threat-maple-valley-schools/6431790001/”
– #2021–12–03 Since Oxford Shooting, At Least 519 Schools Have Closed Nationwide Due to Threats
“https://www.newsweek.com/since-oxford-shooting-least–519-schools-have-closed-nationwide-due-threats–1655897”
– #2021–12–03 13-year-old in custody after threat on Holt Junior High School
“https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2021/12/03/13-year-old-custody-after-threat-holt-junior-high/8855537002/”
– #2021–12–02 Copycat threats of violence force some school districts in Michigan to close Thursday
“https://www.wtvr.com/news/national/copycat-threats-of-violence-force-some-school-districts-in-michigan-to-close-thursday”
– #2021–11–20 Threats against school were hoaxes to create ‘fear and panic,’ Wayne County officials say
“https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/wayne-county-news/threats-against-high-school-were-hoaxes-to-create-fear-and-panic-wayne-county-officials-say/”
– #2018–02–20 Copycat school threats boil over following major shootings; how do we stop them?
“https://www.cleveland19.com/story/37552106/copycat-threats-following-school-shooting-web/”
– #2018–02–16 Copycat Threats and Jittery Nerves Force School Shutdowns Across the U.S.
“https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/us/school-threats-closings.html”
– Safe Kids Inc.
“https://safekidsinc.com/”

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