This Potential Tragedy was Averted…
“ A Colombine style attack”, that is what a teen threatened a school a few days ago only twenty-five minutes away from where I live, using the social media phone app, Whisper. This happened in a quiet, sleepy, picturesque town of less than 5,000 west of Boston, where working farms and apple orchards abound. The Nashoba regional high-school represents several towns in the area and has a student population of just over 1000.
When I saw this article, I thought about just how important it is for parents to be aware of what their kids are posting online. Thank heavens someone saw this post on Whisper and had the sense to contact the police. And thank heavens that Whisper was able to provide the GPS information to locate this student. A potential tragedy was averted. Will it be next time?
There are many apps that kids are using today that parents may not be aware of. I’m sure that many parents have never heard of the app Whisper. These are some of the most popular. http://www.screenretriever.com/Popular-Moble-Apps-for-Teens Whisper, the app used by this teen lets users share their “deepest, darkest secrets” anonymously through images and texts.
If this 15 year old teen’s parents had been paying attention to their daughter’s posts on Whisper prior to the threat would they have seen a thread of posts that were crying out for help? To reach this point of posting an online threat of harming others, this girl must have been in a tremendous amount of emotional pain, don’t you think? In her post, she said, “I hate every one of you.” If this isn’t pain, I don’t know what is. If the parents had known how unhappy this girl was, they might have been able to get this girl the psychological help that she clearly needed. Instead this girl has been arrested. This sleepy town and student body now knows that no one is immune from a Columbine threat, even in sleepy, rural America. As a parent of a Nashoba student said, “anything can happen anywhere.”