The Crestwood and Wyoming Valley West school districts had to deal with threats this week, and social media played a role in both incidents.
Crestwood Superintendent Joseph Gorham called misinformation spread online “very concerning.”
Gorham said a male student on Wednesday and a female student on Thursday were suspended due to separate but similar threats. He said the Wright Township Police Department was immediately involved with the separate threats and no one at the school was in any danger.
“We had two incidents where the two children did not use the correct choice of words,” Gorham said. “We have protocols in place, and the police were involved in both incidents immediately. At no time was the school and students and staff in jeopardy.”
An email alert was sent to parents regarding the threats that involved only the two students, Gorham said.
He said once the incidents were handled, school staff and police had to face misinformation that spread on social media, taking up valuable time and resources.
“There was a growing amount on social media of misinformation,” Gorham said. “It is both alarming and very concerning. Sometimes students make impulsive decisions and in this case did not use the the correct choice of words. What was being said in these chat rooms was truly alarming.”
Meanwhile, Wyoming Valley West Superintendent Irvin DeRemer said a female student at the middle school in Kingston relayed what she believed was a threat to the school Friday morning. DeRemer said the girl saw the threat on social media and told her mother who, DeRemer said, contacted the school district.
DeRemer said the district immediately contacted Kingston police. After an investigation, the threat was unfounded, DeRemer said.
He said the threat did not specify a particular student or students.
Still, a message was automatically sent via robo-call to all parents of students from kindergarten to 12th grade, DeRemer said.
The student “did the right thing by reporting to her mother who followed up with the school district,” said the superintendent.
DeRemer noted a few parents removed their children from school while classes continued.