Law enforcement, school officials discuss consequences, impacts - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Law enforcement, school officials discuss consequences, impacts of school threats in Friday news conference

Lubbock city police, school police and administrators speak about the impact of social media threats to schools. (Source: KCBD) Lubbock city police, school police and administrators speak about the impact of social media threats to schools. (Source: KCBD)
(KCBD) -

After last Friday's "unfortunate prank" at Frenship ISD, and the rumors of threats consuming social media this week for Frenship and LISD, officials came together to address the public about the consequences and impacts of each threat.

The Police Chiefs of the City of Lubbock, Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD, Lubbock-Cooper ISD, the City of Wolfforth and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office hosted a media availability at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8.

These law enforcement professionals addressed the consequences and impact of threats made via social media and gave some advice for parents and students on what and what not to do during emergency situations. 

Most of the official's concerns came from the spread of false information during these situation. Greg Stevens emphasized the need to not overreact when these situations come up.

“Because when we have to react to what is a rumor, to what one kid may put on Snapchat or Facebook. We don’t want to villainize all that," Stevens said. "When we have to react to that it detracts from, it takes away from the resources we have to commit to real needs.“

Jody Scifres, Lubbock ISD Chief of Police, also added that along with making false threats there is an element of illegality. Those who make terroristic threats, make a false report or exhibit a firearm on a campus could face charges. 

Forwarding a social media post can also be considered a crime, he said. He advises any charges could result in thousands of dollars in fines and/or several years in jail.

“When you see it and you re-post it, you’re just adding fuel to the fire and getting people more upset,” Scifres said. "If you're posting information you know is not credible and it's causing panic, you could be charged with harassment, possibly and maybe false reporting, as well."

Officials ask parents and the community to stay vigilant for threats but to only report them to the school and authorities in order to "End It Don't Send It" and not give the perpetrators of any false messages the disruption or attention they may be seeking.

Chief Stevens said he's had a number of calls from concerned parents wanting to know if their kids are safe at school. He said he has confidence in school police and staff to keep them safe.

"If your child is in danger, if there is a real and valid concern, you are not going to be left in the dark," Stevens said. 

"We work together to make sure we inform parents as to what is going on," Scifres said. "If we think there is a serious threat, we are going to let you know about it. We want to make sure we have good information before we communicate with you, as well."

Lubbock Independent School District has also provided a list of online tools and resources for families to use in emergency situations. That PDF document is below:

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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