Earlier this month, life at ELCO High School was disrupted as the school community roiled from rumors of an alleged threat to commit school violence.
Although the first incident that week corresponded to real events (although the threat was later deemed not credible), the second incident has been determined to be without a clear primary source.
Pennsylvania State Police announced this morning that after a very thorough investigation and numerous interviews, no student has come forward indicating they received a text from an individual containing threats. Furthermore, a search conducted of the teenager’s phone who posted to social media about the threat revealed no evidence of a text message of that nature sent to her, as well as no searches or other related planning about school violence.
As LebTown reported at the time, “You couldn’t have designed a better example of the good and the bad social media can cause than what’s occurred in eastern Lebanon County these past few days.”
Want to help slow down rumors online? Here are some tips on assessing information you see on social media.
– Who is making the claim? Are they in a position to know the claim is true first-hand? If not, how do they claim to know the claim is true?
– Is the claim being reported elsewhere? Check your local news outlets. We recommend the Lebanon Daily News, WGAL 8, WLBR, the Reading Eagle, and Lancaster Newspapers. You can even email us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Does the claim make you feel emotional? Know that this is an intentional manipulation tactic. Stay vigilant!