Skip to main content

Don't be that person who makes hoax threats against a school

The people who do this aren't being subversive, or funny, they're just causing pain.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

The Washington Post reports how last week's Parkland, Florida school shooting is leading to a flurry of copycat threats – some apparently serious, some flippant – across the U.S.

Minnesota is no exception. Over the past 48 hours we've seen threats made in Orono and Woodbury on Wednesday, now in Hill City on Thursday.

It's now being reported that the person responsible for the Orono threats was a boy under the age of 16.

So for anyone else thinking of making a hoax threat against a school going forward, just try and think of the pain and upset it's going to cause.

Students and teachers everywhere are already on edge as it is from last week's tragedy without hoaxers making it worse.

Parents meanwhile are struck with terror the second they hear their child's school is on lockdown – no parent should have to feel that fear.

And you have the police, who have to respond to these threats seriously and in great numbers, taking them away from actual crime happening elsewhere.

This saturation of hoax threats could have dangerous and unintended consequences further down the line.

The more of them that happen, the possibility arises that they're not taken as seriously by those inside a school and out – which could prove disastrous in the event a genuine active shooter situation happens again.

FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole, in the Washington Post, had this message for those thinking about posting hoax threats on social media.

"When you do it behind a computer screen, you don’t see that at the other end, you’ve put somebody in tears."

Next Up

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 18

Minnesota has reached 11,000 COVID-19 deaths.


Almost $20K raised for boy whose gun threat locked down Orono schools

The boy, who has autism, is being held in a juvenile detention center.

Another student arrested for making school threats in Minnesota

It's the latest in a string of threats made against a Minnesota school.

Gun threat in Orono came from inside the high school, student arrested

Neither the suspect nor a person of interest had a weapon on them.

Threats against students at another Minnesota school

Hill City Police say it's a "rapidly evolving situation."

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas student charged over hoax bomb threats against the university

The 20-year-old from Blaine is facing federal charges.

Rosemount school staffer who tweeted Kavanaugh threat resigns

The special ed school staffer was being investigated over the tweet.