Two separate, troubling social media incidents in North Carolina schools this week have parents and officials calling for a more deliberate response to dealing with incidents that spread quickly on social media.
In one incident, a 16-year-old student threatened on social media to bring a gun to school to kill other people and herself. In the other incident, a group of students stayed home from school when a rumor of an impending violent attack spread quickly on social media. The rumor turned out to be unfounded.
According to Ken Trump, a school-safety expert:
“The reality is that rumors that used to spread in hours and days now spread in minutes and seconds, Schools are never going to be 100 percent ahead of social media, but the challenge for them is how to narrow the gap.”
It is doubtful that anyone has all the answers yet. The keys to narrow the gap will probably be learned over the next few years. Parents working with their children to teach and reinforce good behavior is at least as important in the short term as the response from school administrators.