State Police: Stop sharing ‘unsubstantiated’ school threats on social media

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana State Police has some advice on what to do if you see school violence threats on social media: call police instead of sharing the unsubstantiated threat on social media.

According to State Police, local and national law enforcement have been responding to numerous copycat threats at schools following the tragic high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

In Tangipahoa Parish, the threat was credible and quickly addressed by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. In Evangeline Parish, a student was arrested for posting threats online.

But the vast majority of these types of threats are not credible, according to State Police.

“Although we highly encourage citizens to report suspicious activity, we want to remind them that the increased sharing of unsubstantiated threats through social media stresses the resources available to respond to and investigate these claims,” State Police said. “The sharing of unsubstantiated threats through social media could add chaos and panic to our school systems and further burden the facility, staff, and student body.”

Police say if the threat is time sensitive and viewed as an imminent danger, call 911 — immediately. If it’s something that warrants further investigation, you should contact local law enforcement.

There are serious consequences for posting threats. The terrorizing law in Louisiana is a felony and states that people who intentionally communicate information of a crime of violence, which causes the public to be in sustained fear for their safety, causes the evacuation of a building, or other serious disruption to the general public can be arrested and fined up to $15,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 15 years.

Click here to learn more about a free app you can use to report suspicious or criminal activity.