Superintendent says employees keep an eye on social media, threa - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Superintendent says employees keep an eye on social media, threats

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Americans have flooded social media to offer their condolences for the Newtown community, but for all the good it can do, social media can also lead to moments of fear and uncertainty, especially for parents.

Gossip and rumors have moved their breeding ground to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, so have potentially violent threats.

When one parent stumbled upon a threat, she wasn't sure where to turn, or if it was safe to send her son to school.

"My older son had told me last night that he was reading twitter and asked me if I knew there was a, supposed to be, a shooting at school today," Evansville parent Lori Bradshaw told 14 News.

Surprised and fearful, Bradshaw wasn't sure where to report the rumored threat, but said she knew she didn't want to wait until the morning.

"I'm like, 'What do I do?' So, I finally decided to call the police, they did inform me that there had been several other parents that had called them. You know, I didn't want to wait until this morning because it might have been too late."

Social media poses new obstacles to school security. Officials say students may feel a sense of security or anonymity online, but that doesn't stop officials from investigating.

"Social media is an interesting animal, people feel as though they can write anything or spread anything through social media, as if they don't have responsibility for what they post, and that's not the case, any individual that does choose to post on social media must understand that they're responsible for the contents of their posting," said EVSC Superintendent David Smith.

Smith says employees do monitor social media within their network, and investigate rumors and threats.

"Now, a, the public has heightened attention to those rumors and b, the explosiveness in the speed in which those rumors spread is at a greater rate than ever before," Smith said.

Officials with EVSC say they use the help of law enforcement to fully investigate potential threats. Hey also say it's important that parents, students and community members should feel responsible to report any possible threats.

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