Robbinsdale Police Lend Perspective on Increasing School Threats
At their core, schools are designed to be places where young minds can learn the fundamental building blocks to set them up for future success.
But these days, schools find themselves occasionally having to send out messages to parents to address threats made on social media. This recent post from Robbinsdale Middle School (RMS) about a weapon possibly being brought into the building is one such example:
“We did receive a call from a parent that one of their children that goes to RMS had received a threat through social media,” said Capt. Chad Stensrud of the Robbinsdale Police Department.
Stensrud says that with this case, and every online threat, they first try to determine its credibility.
“There’s a lot, so much that goes on, on social media, and you really don’t know what’s true and what’s not,” he said.
In this instance, Robbinsdale police contacted school administrators and worked hand in hand with them on the investigation to identify who was in the post. Then they got the parents involved.
“In this case, luckily like many of the others, it was found to be that it wasn’t even a student that goes to RMS, so then we just went from there,” he said.
Meanwhile, Stensrud says the nature of these social media threats can range from being specific to vague.
“So sometimes [the threat] can be a certain day and time or sometimes it can just be, ‘I’m just gonna generally go do something at any given [time] with no specifics,'” he said. “So yeah, they can be broad or they can be specific. We’ve seen both.”
But these threats can not only cause people to be alarmed, they can also have negative consequences for the youth making the threats.
It’s why he urges parents to talk to their kids about what they post — or see — online.
“Even if [the students] don’t want to get their friends in trouble or whatever, it’s just better if they see something that could be threatening to anybody that they would just notify their parents or school staff,” Stensrud said.
The Robbinsdale School District, meanwhile, recently approved a change to its weapons policy, requiring building administrators to report to police as soon as possible any firearms-related incident.