Snapchat Group Argument Causes Fear in Our Community
Last night, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Deer Park School Resource Deputy, and Deer Park School Officials were made aware of rumors of a possible threat. These rumors stemmed from a group Snapchat argument the day before and were being circulated amongst other students. Deputies and School Officials worked together to determined there was no direct or indirect threat to any school. The three primary students, initially involved, stated they were merely trash talking to each other.
On October 15, 2019, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies began to investigate reports of a possible threat made toward Deer Park High School. Several parents were reporting their children advised them of threats being circulated amongst students.
The Deer Park Resource Deputy and Deer Park School Officials were notified and joined the investigation.
Through information gained over the next several hours, it appears the actual incident occurred on October 14, 2019, during a Snapchat group chat between students from Deer Park High School and North Central High School. Initially, the incident started with the small group “talking ***” to each other about who was better in basketball. As several others were brought in or joined the group chat, it escalated and became more personally confrontational with people talking about fighting and about beating each other up.
As people began texting and spreading information regarding the Snapchat argument, the rumors began to build, with the story becoming exaggerated.
During the investigation, Deputies contacted and interviewed several students, including the ones involved in the original trash talking. None of them felt threatened, nor did they think anyone else was threatening toward a school. Because Snapchat is designed to delete messages to keep conversations private, Deputies were unable to view the entire group conversation. From interviews of multiple students and text messages obtained, they determined no actual threat was made to harm the school, any of the students, or staff.
Deputies and Deer Park School Officials worked closely during this investigation with the safety of students and staff as the priority. We are thankful parents came forward with the concerns of their sons/daughters and reported this information. This allowed Deputies and school officials to investigate this potential threat thoroughly, take steps to keep parents and staff informed, and ultimately determine no concerns for the safety of students or staff existed.
Parents, please talk with your school-aged children about their use of social media and the importance of reporting possible threats immediately. They should not spread rumors or what they’ve “heard from a friend” to others, which only serves to spread fear and false information.
Also, please have a conversation regarding what statements are posted on social media and how others who see those statements may perceive them. The spreading of rumors, which does nothing but causes fear in our community, should not be occurring. The importance of reporting potential threats to school officials, law enforcement, or parents should be their priority, not telling a friend. Allowing information like this to be investigated immediately, narrows the number of people who need to be contacted considerably. This will help investigators quickly determine if a potential threat is credible or not.