SANDY — Police have cited a 17-year-old boy who they say created a panic at Jordan High School by spreading false rumors of a school shooting.
Police announced Thursday that earlier this week a misdemeanor citation was issued to the Jordan High student accusing him of making a false alarm.
On Jan. 26, a social media post about a possible mass shooting and bombing at the high school created a lot of panic among students and teachers, prompting many to stay home from school. Sandy police were called to go through the school with bomb-sniffing K-9s and had extra officers in front of the building to make a visible presence to provide reassurance to those who did go to school.
An "excessive amount of resources" were used to discredit the threat, said Sandy Police Sgt. Jason Nielsen.
Police determined the threat was false and may have even been resurrected from an unfounded threat that had already been made against the school several weeks earlier.
On Thursday, Nielsen said investigators determined that a student had indeed posted the old threat made by another student on social media, knowing that the threat had already been proved false, but contending it was actually going to happen.
"It was known that law enforcement had already dealt with this, and it was known that school administration had dealt with it, and it was known to this kid. And yet it was still pushed out there," Nielsen said.
The teen's social media post spread like "wildfire," he said, and created a lot of fear.1 comment on this story
Nielsen stressed Thursday that it isn't simply the fact that the teen was spreading false rumors on social media and it got a lot of traction that resulted in an arrest. Rather, it was because he was spreading a rumor he already knew had been disproven, he said.
"In this circumstance, it was unfortunate it happened to go as far as it did," Nielsen said.
The sergeant encouraged students to always come forward with information that may affect school safety. However, he said students need to inform a teacher, parent, or police officer about their concerns rather than post them on social media.