Social media threats not new to SCCPSS, district’s police chief says

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System gave the all-clear after a reported social media threat, which prompted officials to heighten security at three high schools on Wednesday.

District officials said they received word of a social media post that appeared to be threatening schools in the area late Tuesday night. After an investigation, officials deemed the threat not credible before noon on Wednesday.

Chief Terry Enoch of the Board of Education Police Department said this type of threat is not new to the district.

“It’s becoming a nationwide epidemic,” Enoch said. “They’re designed to breed fear and anxiety and frustration not only for our students but for our educators and our children and parents.”

SCCPSS increased security at three area high schools: Islands, Jenkins and Johnson. Some parents chose to keep their kids at home because of the reported threat.

“It’s a scary situation, coming into the school not knowing what can go on,” parent Shante’ Brown said. “You come to school to learn and think it’s going to be a safe environment but then you have all of this going on.”

“I would rather my child miss a day of school and nothing happened instead of her going to school and her potentially being harmed because we didn’t think it was serious,” said parent Wanda Plummer.

According to officials, a similar threat has been found circulating several other school districts across the state. Though Wednesday’s threat was determined to be unfounded, some parents fear one day it could be legitimate.

“This is putting ideas in all these kids’ heads, but today they’re prepared,” parent Crystal Deaton said. “Today, they were maybe expecting something to happen. But tomorrow, maybe they’re not.”

Chief Enoch said increased police presence, random contraband checks and social media monitoring are all part of the department’s response to these threats.

“It results in us wasting a lot of resources,” Enoch said. “Kids become frightened; parents are angry and alarmed. It’s something that’s become a fast-growing problem and we’re working proactively to prevent it from happening.”

School is set to resume as normal on Thursday. But parents hope answers will be found.

“At the end of the day, someone is going to get in trouble for posting this because it created a hostile environment,” Brown said. “So I just pray that they actually get help.”

Officials believe the person behind the social media post is not related to SCCPSS, Enoch said. Campus Police is working with other agencies, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, in this ongoing investigation. 

If you see any suspicious activity, officials urge you to report it immediately.

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