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Social media fuels fear, misinformation at local schools after Parkland school shooting

Posted: 6:33 PM, Feb 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-16 23:33:16Z

Hillsborough County Schools are busy calming the fears of parents and students fueled by false social media posts. The superintendent sent a recorded voice message, district wide, explaining that there are no credible threats.

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“It’s obviously a very anxious time,” district spokesperson, Tanya Arja, said.

Arja explains, for the past two days, district phones have been constantly ringing because of concerned parents.

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“Principals are getting calls, (parents) want to know a little bit about the security at our schools. They want to know about social media posts that they’re seeing.” She said.

One social media post that was being shared described a Blake High School student who appeared to be threatening a school. The post went on to urge parents to keep their kids home.

District officials say one of the photos in that post is from South Carolina. The information contained is simply false.

“And when you’re talking about social media, things just go viral. Posts are shared from all over.” Arja said.

Arja says she's aware that some parents have chosen to keep their children home from school. 

The district is now urging students to tell an adult about any suspicious social media activity or rumors they may hear, but they're being asked not to share social media posts that may contain false information.