This week, the Springfield community marked the 20th anniversary of the Thurston School Shooting. The tragedy preceded many technological developments, including smart phones and social media.
More recent incidents have been captured on video, or relayed through text messages sent by students. But while this can help investigators and police, it can also spread alarm and misinformation, too.
Springfield Police Lieutenant Russ Boring says earlier this year, a Thurston High student used Snapchat to tell a girl at another school that he was “the shooter” and was headed to her campus. Boring says such antics have become all too common.
“SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, all these different avenues for that," he says. "And we have kids that are constantly on there, doing those type of things.
"We deal with it a lot here, those things are coming in, we have to take all those threats seriously.”
Police urge students and their parents to discuss proper smart phone etiquette, adding that hoaxes can waste resources police and EMS crews need for genuine emergencies.
Copyright 2018, KLCC.