Online threats plague Arizona school districts after Sandy Hook shooting

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 25 at 12:10 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, the education community has felt a great loss. It's also faced new challenges.

"A lot of good things have been done in terms of support for those victims, but there's also this side of the impact that's not a good thing...it's been very difficult for districts," said Dr. Dennis Rynyon. 

Runyon is the Superintendent of Agua Fria Union High School District. His is one of several districts now having to sort through threats, most made on the Internet, built to capitalize on a tense time.

"It's usually a threat to the environment, usually something about I'm going to bring a gun or I'm going to bring a weapon or somebody's going to get hurt," he said.

One of those threats made this week targeted Desert Edge High School.

Administrators said it came from a Facebook post that's since been taken down, and said they believe all students are safe.

They've added extra security this week to calm nerves, but that's not much consolation  for Trona Prince, whose daughter attends Desert Edge.

"My daughter saying 'Oh there's cops here with guns going around checking classrooms,' or this and that doesn't make it easier to digest," she said.

This is the latest in a slew of scares, from an alleged gunman spotted near a Scottsdale middle school, to a student dressed as the Joker in Glendale.

Administrators say parents need to check in with their child to remind them that threats are taken seriously.
 

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