Police in DeWitt have warned parents about the dangers of social media apps after a 13-year-old student at Bishop Grimes allegedly made threats of school violence using the Discord app. Discord is a voice, video, and text chat app mostly used by teens to chat with their friends. While many middle schoolers are active on social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, parents must understand the potential risks associated with these apps.
DeWitt Police Lieutenant Jerry Pace stressed the need for parents to monitor their children’s social media usage and have conversations about the appropriateness of their online behavior. He warned that anything posted on social media is permanent and that even jokes involving violence or threats can lead to serious consequences. As seen in the recent school threat in Syracuse, police are investigating online threats, which can result in life-changing consequences for those who post them.
Pace also suggested that schools should have multiple outlets for reporting any threats that may put the school in danger. He stressed the importance of having instant lines of communication and for the community to understand the need to report any concerning behavior.
While Pace did not know much about the Discord app itself, he acknowledged that there have been a few incidents involving it in the last year or two. In Baldwinsville, a recent school threat was not made over a social media app but in person to classmates who eventually reported it to school leaders, highlighting the need for students to speak up when they see concerning behavior.
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