Parents React To District’s Handling Of Scary Viral Video
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – An Instagram video featuring a weapon caused panic in Cottonwood Heights Friday. Thankfully, police said there was no credible threat.
Police said a student from a different area posted the video.
They said someone took that video and reposted it, saying there was a threat at Brighton High School and to get out of the school.
Around 11:15 a.m. Friday, the video went viral among Brighton High School students and then spread.
KSL has decided not to show the video.
The rumors spread like wildfire, understandably scaring parents and students.
Officials from the Cottonwood Heights Police Department said investigators have questioned the initial video creator and that his video was taken out of context.
“I think the lesson here is if you receive something on social media you need to check your facts,” said Sergeant Ryan Shosted. “You need to make sure it’s true because if you’re sending something out that is not true or creates panic you’re creating the problem as much as, you know, somebody who would get it out there to help people.”
Police said they are thankful for those who reported their concern.
The school day continued and the Canyons School District sent out a message to parents.
District Spokesperson Jeff Haney said they followed proper procedure for this incident, but some parents I spoke to say it wasn’t enough.
“If we felt like there was a credible threat against a school or student we would immediately enact those emergency protocols. We didn’t in this case because we knew that it wasn’t anything credible,” said Haney.
Haney said the school made an announcement to students that they were safe, but didn’t have to immediately reach out to parents since they said the threat wasn’t credible.
Of course, he said it was hard to get ahead of the rumors.
“I know of a few of my son’s friends who were scared, and who were concerned and were feeling like the school could have done more. Honestly, to get all of the information we did in two hours, maybe because I’m a child of the 70s and I’m not used to the way information travels, I feel like they did a pretty good job,” said parent Wendy Orsby.
Other parents disagreed, and felt the school should have made parents aware sooner.
“It looks like a 9mm gun. I understand maybe it was totally doctored, but it was a threat. The kids should be reinforced that if they see something they should say something, and if the school knows it’s safe they should tell the kids immediately and the parents not wait and the parents didn’t get a call until 1:50 p.m. and that call said there was no threat, which is not true, there was a threat,” said parent Dana Conway. “I just think the messaging is really disappointing.”
The district said they planned to debrief and take parent input into account, not that they ever want this to happen again.
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