Social media ignites firestorm in Valdosta High shooting hoax

The hoax was reported early Wednesday morning.
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 5:04 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Social media always plays a part in school shootings — sometimes it’s an unofficial emergency alert and other times, it’s a forum for unfounded rumors that spin out of control.

There was a lot of back and forth on social media with different posts and allegations circulating coming from students and parents following a reported hoax that there was an active shooter at Valdosta High School on Wednesday.

Some social media posts indicated several students had been shot. And that no doubt played a part in the panic many parents felt.

Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan said she believes the original call to 911 came from overseas. She said law enforcement takes situations like this very seriously and they are trained intensively on what to do if there is a real active shooter on campus.

“Social media threats are very damaging to the community. We do take every single one of them seriously, just like we did today. (At one point), we had close to 50-75 law enforcement officers on scene here within minutes,” Manahan said.

Parents told WALB News 10 this incident raised huge concern for them. Some said their child will be out of school for the remainder of the week to be on the safe side.

Manahan encourages the community to always notify law enforcement first before putting unconfirmed information on social media.