DES MOINES, Iowa – School districts are learning of an anonymous, nationwide threat against schools that is being shared on social media platforms. The general threat toward all U.S. schools declares Friday, December 17, as “American School Shooting Day.” The posts warn about the possibility of nationwide shootings or bomb threats associated with this day.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety said school safety is a top priority. The Department said it is aware of this general threat and the Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center is working with law enforcement partners to assess and analyze open source reporting for specific threats.
“At this time, we are not seeing any specific or credible threats towards any schools in Iowa, but we are continuing to diligently monitor the situation,” Pat Waymire, the Assistant Director of the Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, said. “No division within the Iowa Department of Public Safety has received any requests for assistance.”
Parents and guardians are encouraged take this opportunity to talk with their students about the appropriate use of social media, and the seriousness and resulting consequences of making any kind of threat. If anyone sees something suspicious, please report it to local law enforcement.
The Iowa Association of School Boards, School Administrators of Iowa, and Iowa State Education Association released a joint statement addressing the social media threat:
“Every student deserves a safe place to learn, and every educator, administrator, school staff member deserves a safe place to do their work.
“The social media threat of an ‘American School Shooting Day’ is appalling. Whether done as a joke or with malicious intent, it’s unacceptable. We know our school personnel will do everything in their power to see our students safe. They need all of us to stand with them in that effort.
“We ask Iowans across the state to support our educators and the students they serve. Community support is important every day and especially when threats of violence and hateful language ricochet around social media.”