NEVADA – On Thursday, several schools in Nevada were placed on lockdown due to reports of an active shooter. A national trend known as “swatting” is proliferating on social media, in which a caller reports an active shooter, but the calls are bogus and the shooters do not exist.
Despite the fact that many of the claims were ruled false, the calls prompted authorities in Douglas, Elko, Nye, Clark, and Churchill counties to place school districts on high alert.
The Fallon Police Department received reports of a school shooting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, and immediately placed all of the district’s schools on lockdown. Once officers were on the scene, they discovered that Elko County Schools had gotten the identical call. According to Fallon Police, the incident appears to be a hoax.
Parents are afraid, whether the calls are true or not. One Fallon mother, Ronni La Bella, learned about the lockdown via Facebook, and she described it as every parent’s worst nightmare. “I pictured a bloodbath because I didn’t know if it was real or not,” she explained. She picked up her son after the lockdown was lifted and “squeezed him like he was a baby again.”
He simply stated that he was in music class. And then they told him to go into a corner and remain away from the windows. And he had no idea what was going on. And he said, Mama, it was terrifying. That hurt my heart as a mother since I wasn’t there to safeguard them.
Summer Stephens, superintendent of the Churchill County School District, stated that despite law enforcement detecting no threat to children, the district lost attendance both Thursday and Friday as a result of the lockdowns. She explained that situations like this are distressing because they “it disrupts learning, it disrupts feeling secure, and it disrupts trust.”
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) was also notified of a school shooting in Genoa. As a precaution, all Carson Valley schools were placed on “lockdown” until law enforcement determined that there was no threat. According to a statement from DCSO, the office has received three “swatting” type calls for service in the last month.
Callers are reporting an active shooter situation. DCSO Deputies from all ranks and divisions have responded to numerous calls, only to discover that nothing is happening.
Fear, worry, and confusion, according to officials, are disruptive to both kids and staff. According to Joseph Girdner, Executive Director of Human Resources for the Douglas County School District, the reason these instances are so troubling is that similar incidents occur across the country.
When it’s fresh in people’s minds, it just raises more concern for parents, students, and staff, and it’s unfortunate that, you know, people are one of the reasons that those horrible occurrences happen, but that someone would profit on that.
We contacted the Washoe County School District, and as of February 17, there had been no occurrences of “swatting” on any of the district’s campuses. They stated in a statement, “Washoe County School Police Officers react to all calls for help and incident reports with the necessary resources, and they collaborate with local law enforcement authorities if extra assistance is required. We remind our community that it is illegal to make emergency calls for help when there is no actual emergency.” They go on to say that the ramifications of such a crime can be serious.
Credits: Fox Reno
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