New Iberia Police Department Sends Sharp Message to ‘Social Media Experts’ After School Lockdowns
The New Iberia Police Department has a message for all the "social media experts" out there.
After school was disrupted at NISH earlier this week due to potential threats and lockdowns, the New Iberia Police Department posted a very direct message to the "social media experts" on their official Facebook Page.
NIPD felt the need to dispel rumors that had taken over social media and had parents and students confused and scared about what went on during incidents on Monday and Tuesday at New Iberia Senior High School.
Police confirmed that the NISH School Resource Officer (SRO) and administrators were made aware that a student had possession of a gun on campus. They were able to quickly locate the student and the gun before the school was then placed on "Soft Lockdown" to investigate and gather more information to ensure the safety of the school, faculty, and students before lifting the lockdown.
This incident sparked numerous rumors on social media, and according to NIPD the "fear and panic" that came as a result of the rumors had parents concerned about "a shooting at lunchtime" on campus.
Due to protocol, as well as NIPD's commitment to "always take the safety of our Students, Faculty, and Community as its first priority," an Active Threat Protocol was put in place as authorities investigated the concerns "to assure that no one, from the outside or inside was a threat to the safety of our Students and School Faculty."
NIPD noted that these protocols strain their law enforcement resources in addition to causing disruptions in schools, so having to act on rumors and hearsay from social media users who spread information without having all of the facts creates a difficult scenario for everyone involved.
These types of threats cause disruption to the school and parents alike. Our law enforcement resources also get strained as this in not a small task to complete safety measures of this magnitude. With this said, many “social media experts” felt the need to interject themselves by posting “their facts” without any knowledge of what was actually taking place. The priority of Law Enforcement and School Officials is to provide a safe learning environment without disruption, so that all students can get the best possible education. These “experts” do not help this with the many “claims of facts” that are completely False.
In addition to the rumors, NIPD also noted a video that circulated showing a student with a handgun, rumored to come from within the school. The clip was investigated and quickly dispelled.
One other “rumor” that has been put out as “their fact” is that of a video that surfaced of a student with a handgun from inside of the school. This is NOT a Student at NISH, nor was it taken from inside of NISH. This video that surfaced was investigated and dispelled as being inside of the school. Anyone saying its from inside of NISH is NOT telling the truth. We would encourage anyone that sees something on Social Media, should not assume it as fact.
NIPD reminded parents and residents seeking information about a rumor to call the Department of School Administrators and provide them with all the information they are seeking to validate.
Our encouragement to all that have information about a “rumor” is to call our Department or School Administrators and provide all the information that you may have and where the rumor is rooted from, so that it can be investigated completely before shutting down school services. As you can see from what occurred from the information on Monday, School Administrators and the SRO Officer worked quickly to go to the root of the information and handle accordingly. Rumors that have no root, cause a full disruption of the educational environment.
Commenters had mixed reactions to the message from NIPD on social media with some thanking them for doing such a difficult job, while others were still unsure if the suggested protocol would give them the answers they were looking for in a timely enough fashion.
In closing, NIPD reminded citizens that anyone intentionally calling in false threats or information that disrupted the educational environment would be pursued with criminal charges as they continue their commitment to ensuring a safe environment for all.