BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The Blue Springs School District held a press conference Saturday afternoon to address the two graffiti threats that were made at Blue Springs South High School bathrooms this week.
Lieutenant Mike Russell with the district’s Department of Public Safety said tips from students ultimately cracked the case. Three students, a single actor for the first incident and two for the second incident, are responsible for the graffiti. Russell said the students felt it was a funny prank.
The three students have been suspended for 10 days. An administrative hearing will be held and the results from that will be forwarded to the superintendent for an ultimate decision. It could result in up to 180 days of suspension or expulsion.
Russell said criminal charges could be pending as well.
“Any time there is something that would equate to a felony as an adult, we’ll have to forward that to the Blue Springs Police Department,” he said.
More officers will remain on the grounds for the time being. Accountability measures have increased for the staff as well, including frequent checks in remote areas of the building.
“The sooner we can discover something, the quicker we can utilize the security measures we have in school,” Russell said.
Russell and his team said they saw how quickly misinformation can spread on social media. The recent shooting in Oakland County, Michigan, which left four dead, created false alarms for schools in South Dakota, Missouri and South Carolina. A school in Myrtle Beach considered canceling its school dance.
“They (students) needed to confirm that the images that they were being sent were from our incident and not something new to them,” Russell said.
Parents are encouraged to speak with their children about the importance of fact-checking what circulates social media.
“Instead of reacting to the ‘I heard’s, actually drill down on ‘where did you hear that from?’” Russell said. “The kids will mimic their parents and so if their parents are good role models, the kids won't fall for the misinformation.”
The district also has licensed social workers and counselors on campuses for students who may be affected by recent events.
“You can never tell how someone will respond to something like this and who might be triggered by the event,” Russell said.