Social media fuels bogus Southridge HS threat

Social media fuels bogus Southridge HS threat

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by Michael Rollins

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 24 at 2:01 PM

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A bomb threat several weeks ago that police clearly identified as without merit still created a stir Wednesday morning with students at Southridge, Aloha and Beaverton high schools.

Despite reassurances from the police, students started circulating tweets and status updates that said the bomb threat was real and would impact classes Wednesday at Southridge.

Southridge principal Todd Corsetti sent out autodial notices to parents, one Oct. 5 and a second Tuesday, both reassuring parents that there was no threat.

He wrote this Oct. 23:

"You will recall that several weeks ago I notified Southridge families regarding a note that was found by students with vague, non-specific concerns. You will also recall that I explained that the note was investigated by school personnel and Beaverton Police and that there was no credibility to this note. In the last couple of days, however we have had several students expressing concern that they heard something might happen tomorrow. These rumors all stem back to the unsubstantiated note found weeks ago. I want to stress that we have had no new additional information of any kind since the original note was found by students. The rumor mill and social media, however, is in full swing."

The rumor mill spilled over to Aloha High students, to the point where the Washington County Sheriff's Office stepped up patrols Wednesday morning around the school, according Sgt. Bob Ray.

On the Aloha High Facebook page Wednesday morning, principal Ken Yarnell also reassured students that the campus was safe.

He wrote:

"This morning, we have heard a lot of "chatter" on facebook and twitter about a possible bomb threat at Aloha HS, Beaverton HS and Southridge HS. After investigating this with the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Kevin Sutherland (Director of Security for the BSD), we know of no actual bomb threat made to Aloha HS. Rather, it has been students talking of rumors on facebook and twitter. Again, there is no evidence of an actual bomb threat (or any other type of threat) to Aloha HS. To take precautions, we do have an extra deputy sheriff on campus and will investigate for any possible leads. We will keep you posted today...Thank you for your poise."

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