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School swatting incidents reported in wake of Tennessee mass shooting

School swatting incidents reported in wake of Tennessee mass shooting
Posted at 3:05 PM, Mar 30, 2023

A number of school districts and police departments in Massachusetts reported threats of mass shootings this week in the days following a mass school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. 

According to WBTS-TV, at least 28 schools received threats of violence on Tuesday alone. Several schools in Buffalo, New York, also reported being “swatted” on Thursday. 

“A swatting call is a recent phenomenon where a call is made reporting a serious hostile incident, resulting in the response of public safety personnel,” said Foxboro Police, which was among one of the Massachusetts departments responding to calls this week. “Swatting calls are usually conducted by pranksters seeking to cause a disturbance intending to require a significant public safety response to an unsuspecting location. When public safety agencies receive such calls, it is difficult to determine the validity of the call, and they must respond following departmental procedures.”

The matter of making threats against schools has been growing in recent months. Iowa’s Department of Public Safety said about 30 incidents were reported last week. 

SEE MORE: Fake threats of imminent school violence are getting more common

“The design of it is to create confusion and chaos. It’s designed to draw a large law enforcement presence to a school even though there is no active threat. And by all accounts and for all intents and purposes, it appears thus far that is what Iowa experienced today,” Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan K. Bayens said.

A 2019 report by the Secret Service indicated that many school shooters made threats before their attacks. 

“Most of the attackers communicated a prior threat to their target or communicated their intentions to carry out an attack. In many cases, someone observed a threatening communication or behavior but did not act, either out of fear, not believing the attacker, misjudging the immediacy or location, or believing they had dissuaded the attacker,” the report said.