By Kristin DeCarr
Smartphone apps, Internet phone services and social media are becoming increasingly popular ways to send in anonymous bomb threats or other threats of violence to schools, causing evacuations and police response.
While the majority of these threats turn out to be hoaxes, the use of modern technology is making it increasingly difficult to determine whether or not the threat is real and to find the person responsible.
One such instance saw a 16-year-old student at Gateway High School in Kissimmee, Florida being arrested last week after posting a bomb threat on Twitter. According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred because “she was angry and did not want to go to school.”
School safety experts have reported an increase in cases like that one. Figures from the National Center for Education show 5,700 incidents for the 2009-2010 school year, the latest year available.
And the incidents are not simply occurring within school walls or even the same neighborhood.