Girl thought school safety app was ‘stupid,’ sent fake reports, police say

Apr 4, 2018, 6:33 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2018, 1:05 am

AMERICAN FORK — American Fork investigators say an American Fork High School student sent several fake threats about her school using the SafeUT app on her cell phone.

According to court paperwork, the 16-year-old girl thought the app was “stupid,” so she sent false information about bringing a bomb and a gun to school, as well as doing a mass stabbing, in an effort to get the app shut down.

“We take this stuff incredibly seriously,” said American Fork Police Lt. Cameron Paul.

Lt. Cameron Paul

“We don’t take any chances on anything. If something comes through like this, we’re going to investigate it thoroughly.”

Messages from the cell phone app go to the SafeUT crisis line, run by the University of Utah. The crisis line is a statewide service for teens and others. It provides real-time crisis intervention, though texting or chatting, to report threats and bullying or get mental health assistance. The program and app have been credited with saving lives.

“The number of people that we have used it in order to talk about their stressers to be able to get resources to be able to just say I’m feeling suicidal and I need to talk right now. It has been a lot,” said Amanda McNab, who is a crisis counselor with SafeUT.

It doesn’t help when counselors get flooded with false information, especially threats.

“For us it takes time away from the other texts or chats that are coming in,” said McNab.

American Fork police say the girl, who sent the messages last month, has been in trouble before and will now most likely face charges.

Tips submitted to the app are anonymous, but investigators were able to see they were all coming from the same address where that 16-year-old lives, and since they have had multiple encounters with her in the past, they knew who she was.

“We’ll meet up with the county attorney’s office and we’ll all decide what an appropriate resolution is, but we are looking at charges at this point in time,” said Lt. Paul. “We did a very thorough investigation and we have looked into every element we could think of and we haven’t found anything that could lead us to believe there was an actual threat of anything coming up.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A block section of the old Utah State Prison in Draper is pictured on Aug. 15. A Utah man serving a...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Man who believed God told him to kill more than 20 years ago now seeks parole

A Utah man serving life in prison for killing a man he had never met more than 20 years ago because he believed God told him to do it no longer believes that and is seeking parole.
16 hours ago
Tooele fatal fire...
Cary Schwanitz

Woman dies after house fire in Tooele

Tooele police confirmed that a woman died after crews found her inside a home that caught fire Tuesday morning.
16 hours ago
Demolition crews tearing down a guard tower at the old Draper prison. (KSL-TV)...
Karah Brackin

Demolition begins at the decommissioned Draper prison

Demolition crews begin tearing down the old Draper state prison, making way for the upcoming community project, The Point.
16 hours ago
Brenda White cookies...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Rent prices down nationwide but very high in Utah

All over the country, the cost of rent is finally starting to go down. But that is not the case here in Utah.
16 hours ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Driver, dog critically injured in West Valley car vs. TRAX crash

One person had to be extricated following a crash involving a car and Utah Transit Authority TRAX train.
16 hours ago
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hea...
Michael Houck

Mitt Romney calls Trump a ‘gargoyle’ after dinner with Ye, Nick Fuentes

Utah Senator Mitt Romney called former President Donald Trump a gargoyle hanging over the Republican party after his dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and rapper Ye.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Girl thought school safety app was ‘stupid,’ sent fake reports, police say