Hermiston School District Addresses False Shooting Threats - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hermiston School District Addresses False Shooting Threats

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- The Hermiston School District responded Friday morning around 9:30 a.m. to alleged threats made against students and staff at the school on Thursday. - The Hermiston School District responded Friday morning around 9:30 a.m. to alleged threats made against students and staff at the school on Thursday.

HERMISTON, OREGON- The Hermiston School District responded Friday morning around 9:30 a.m. to alleged threats made against students and staff at the school on Thursday.

Here is their full statement:

"In most cases, social media can serve as an asset to our educational mission. Unfortunately, it can also serve detrimental when false accusations are made and propagated, as was the case yesterday evening.

In brief, here is what we became aware of and the proactive actions taken.

  • Yesterday evening Hermiston  Police Department received phone calls from a few community members informing the department that they had heard an HHS student had made comments stating he would “shoot up the school” and was running from police. Upon investigation, it appears these accusations were born from a Facebook post a student had made late yesterday evening.
  • HPD contacted high school administration, and they were able to identify the alleged student who was accused of making the threatening comments.
  • After investigating the claim yesterday evening, it was determined that the alleged statements of “shooting up the school” WERE NOT MADE and were indeed false. We believe the false rumors may have stemmed from a physical altercation earlier that day with another student.
  • The originator of the false Facebook post was contacted by HPD. The student-creator of the post understood, after speaking with HPD, that their FB comments were not true, and the post was quickly removed.
  • High school administration, in cooperation with the district communications officer, posted on our FB account last night informing the community that the accusations made were false and that the community and parents should not be alarmed. Unfortunately, the false rumors had already been propagated to a large audience.

In today’s climate, this type of social media situation can be expected. The positive side is that, had there been any merit to the claims, we would have been able to act accordingly and respond appropriately to ensure student, staff, and patron safety. Unfortunately, it can also work against us when the accusations made are false and unfounded.

We would like to highlight the swift response from HPD and great collaboration with the high school administration to act promptly and appropriately to investigate and dismiss the false accusations."

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