School threat leads to concern about dangers of social media

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VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KAKE) -

Extra officers were at Valley Center schools this week after a threat made on Snapchat resurfaced. Parents in valley center were scrolling through social media Tuesday night when some started to panic. "There was a text message going around through a group of kids that there was going to be a shooting at the school today," says Danica Johnson, a parent in Valley Center. 

Officials tell KAKE the individual who made the threat doesn't even live in Kansas anymore. The conversation that leaked all over social media took place months ago. "It's scary knowing that things can just go just like that and it can reach so many people," says Johnson. 

Officials say social media brings unexpected challenges for their job, "it creates more panic because everybody is seeing it on social media and then parents and students, it makes them more nervous, more afraid, so it makes it a little more difficult sometimes," says Lloyd Newman, the Valley Center Chief of Police and Public Safety Director. 

Even the valley center superintendent heard of the threat on twitter. "And obviously it spread faster than we could control and that's the challenge of social media," says Cory Gibson, the USD 262 Superintendent. 

But as a parent, Gibson reassured others by sending his own kids to school on Wednesday, "we would never put our own kids in that situation if we knew it wasn't safe."

Law enforcement wants to remind everyone to report before sharing, "instead of posting something on social media or spreading around rumors, it's much better to call 911, let us know," says Newman. 

Johnson is counting on her daughter to speak up, "definitely talk to your kids, make sure they know what's going on, make sure they know that it's okay to come talk to you in any situation." 

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