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Copycat Threats After Florida School Shooting Soar Beyond 600

Copycat Threats After Florida School Shooting Soar Beyond 600

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By    |   Thursday, 08 March 2018 09:29 AM

Copycat threats arising after the Florida school shooting have soared beyond 600, according to Educator's School Safety Network, a national nonprofit school safety organization.

It is common to see an increase in hoaxes and threats following a high-profile mass killing, USA Today reported. While such incidents aren't tracked nationally by any government agency, at least 638 threats targeting schools were made in the two weeks following the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to a list compiled from media reports by Educator's School Safety Network, USA Today reported.

This translates to about 10 to 70 threats being made a day, a number that has forced various schools to shut down and sent fear rippling through communities. According to USA Today's review, at least 33 schools were shut down because of these threats and more than 15 others were locked down.

The Educator's School Safety Network's statistics put Ohio, Florida and Texas at the top of states where school-based violent incidents and threats were reported after the Parkland shooting, with 44 such reports in Ohio and 33 in each of Florida and Texas from Feb. 15 to Feb. 23.

There have been various theories as to why these numbers have soared so dramatically, with some experts saying that students are too young to realize the impact of their comments, while others blaming mass media.

"There are usually two common traits in these individuals," said Mary Ellen O'Toole, a former FBI profiler," according to USA Today. "They're young, and their judgment is poor. I mean, a brain isn't really fully formed until your early 20s. Then, it's also people who want to be disruptive and affect how the school is operating."

Dr. Scott Poland, a psychology professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, attributed the uptick in threats to widespread coverage of the violent shootings.

"Schools always have a few of what I would call 'disillusioned students' who are not connected to the school and the staff," Poland told The New York Daily News. "We always have students who are thinking about violence. Thankfully, schools have made progress with threat assessments, but the national coverage just causes a state of unrest."

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Copycat threats arising after the Florida school shooting have soared beyond 600, according to Educator's School Safety Network, a national nonprofit school safety organization.
copycat, threats, florida, shooting
367
2018-29-08
Thursday, 08 March 2018 09:29 AM
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