Snapchat Message Encouraging Students To ‘Sluff’ Turns Into Rumor About School Shooting, Police Say
TOOELE, Utah – Extra officers were stationed two high schools as a precaution Monday after rumors of a school shooting circulated on social media, police said.
Officials with the Tooele City Police Department said there was not a credible threat to either school, and the rumor didn’t actually begin with any sort of threat at all.
It started on Snapchat, according to police. A person sent messages to students Nov. 22 telling them to skip school Monday.
TCPD Sgt. Jeremy Hansen said the rumor was apparently started to to organize a “sluff day.” However, after users screenshot the message and shared it, the conversation around it changed.
“Somewhere along the lines somebody asked, ‘Why should we be sluffing school? Is there going to be an active shooter or something?'” he said. “… It spread like wildfire throughout the school.”
Tooele High School counselor Kobe Peterson said he heard the rumor that students were planning to skip school.
“Then it turned into people thought it was going to be a school shooting,” he said.
Officers were unable to find the person who originated the message, although they did interview between 13 – 15 students on Nov. 25 about the post. None of them had an original copy of the Snapchat.
Regardless of the innocuous source of the message, extra police were stationed at both Tooele High School and Blue Peak High School out of an abundance of caution.
Officials with the school district warned students against spreading rumors on social media.
“I’m very careful because I know whatever I post can be sent and misinterpreted anywhere,” Petersen said.