‘Swatting’ puts school on lockdown

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:02 PM CDT
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WILSON, Ark. (KAIT) - Dozens of schools across the country have undergone lockdowns this past week because of “swatting” or placing fake phone calls to 911.

Swatting is a dangerous trend that runs from coast to coast. Incidents in Colorado, Missouri, and Arkansas have parents and students shaken.

It hit close to home on Wednesday as students were sent into lockdown at Rivercrest.

Incidents like this have Heather Lucius, parent, on edge.

“I do not like it and hope people will understand there needs to change,” Lucius said.

Those changes are coming. Rivercrest Superintendent Mike Cox said he, his district, and the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office would not tolerate this type of reckless behavior. The Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department has SROs on campus to ensure students are safe during the school day.

Students need to understand this is not a game and there will be real and harsh consequences for these actions. These consequences can be life-altering for some teens participating in reckless behavior like this.

Swatting can lead to innocent people losing their lives. Accidents happen and with the severity of these prank calls, police respond with rifles and riot shields.

Cox said the school district is ready to make an example out of someone by charging those responsible for terroristic threats.

The district has filed with a judge; they are awaiting a search warrant for phones. The school hopes the warrant would help obtain information from social media companies that hold the information about the accounts used to make the threats.

“We are going to everything in our power to find out who it is and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent,” Cox said.

Stopping these dangerous prank phone calls start at home with the parents. Ensuring that students are not using social media in a terrorist way.

“More parents to be proactive in their kid’s eyes as far as going through their phones,” Lucius said.

You are encouraged to contact the Rivercrest School District or the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office if you have any information.