School shootings and mass violence of the sort have long been a stain on this great nation of ours, and the complex mental health causes for these incidents are incredibly difficult to mitigate.
But, perhaps more disheartening still are the copycats and the hoaxes. The kids who see the attention and grief of the school shooting and equate them to one another, somehow finding value in making people scared and anxious.
This week, that sort of horrid behavior was on full display, as a number of near-simultaneous “swatting” hoaxes hit our nation’s schools.
Dozens of schools in states including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Texas, and Virginia have gone into lockdown this month after local police received false calls about shootings in progress in their buildings.
While there is often a wave of unsubstantiated threats at the start of the school year, callers in these incidents often claim to be inside the affected building, sometimes citing specific room numbers or mentions of injured students, local media reports show.
There was little doubt that this sort of violence begets a continued tumult.
Schools often see an increase in shooting and bomb threats at the beginning of a new academic year, safety experts say.Advertisement - story continues below
Waves of copycat threats also tend to follow mass school shootings, like the May 24 attack at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, Klinger said. That’s because conversations about school safety and worst-case scenarios often follow such events, and some students see threats as a way to tap into that attention.
Oddly, these hoaxes have occurred in clusters, with some states seeing several in one day, and then another state another day, and so on.
As of this writing, no one has been charged in the crimes.