Friday shooting threats deemed false


Caleb Stipkovits

Fake shooting threats surfaced on social media on October 28th. The claims reflect a large increase in shooting threats across the country.

Asa Grumdahl, Sports Editor

On Thursday October 28th, South received threats over social media concerning the possibility of a school shooting, which were later deemed fake. 

While the threats were purportedly not directly given to any school entity, discussion of them having been made at all first spawned in an Instagram direct message conversation on social media. A screenshot of that conversation quickly spread from person to person, and by the morning of the following Friday, the possibility of a shooting was on a sizable number of students’ Instagram stories. 

At some point, Interim Principal Stephen Simondet felt it was necessary to contact the MPS Safety and Security department concerning the matter. In a statement emailed and robocalled to families today, he briefly stated the following: “You may have heard via social media this morning that threats were made to South High. I want to reassure you that MPD and MPS Safety and Security were immediately called. [We] investigated the credibility of these threats – and found none. Students are safe to attend school today at South.” 

There has been a recent sharp increase in these false threats on a national level, according to one article by Tyler Kingade from The Atlantic: “I counted news reports and police statements from across the United States that referred to at least 269 separate shooting threats against K–12 schools in August and September alone—57 percent of which appeared on social media.” MPS’s investigations returned something of this exact type.

As of yet the initial cause of this ordeal has not been determined. The original Snapchat screenshot, citing someone’s friend’s girlfriend’s friend as the person who first told of the threat, doesn’t provide much help as to how this started or how this can be prevented going forward. MPS continued in their statement: “In fact, what was posted is a hoax threat that has been circulating nationally. We will continue to work with authorities to identify who is sharing these posts and hold responsible those involved if appropriate. Please speak with your students about the importance of not posting senseless hoaxes via social media. Thank you.”