Burkburnett Police Assoc. discusses dangers of unconfirmed rumors on social media

Burkburnett Police Assoc. discusses dangers of unconfirmed rumors on social media

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - We’re learning more about a rumor that spread quickly on social media which involved a potential threat to the Burkburnett High School campus.

On Wednesday, officials with the Burkburnett Police Association reminded the public to not spread unconfirmed rumors on social media.

"Like the old telephone game you used to play in kindergarten. You whisper to somebody and whisper to the next person and by the time that gets all the way back to you the story has completely changed is kind of what we deal with but its just far more rapid on social media," said Sgt. Zac Leonard with the Burkburnett Police Association.

On Tuesday Burkburnett ISD posted on their Facebook page a rumor had been spread regarding a potential threat at their high school campus and the situation had been fully investigated and addressed.

This prompted the Burkburnett Police Association to remind the public why they should not spread unconfirmed rumors via social media.

"They freak out, they panic and they instantly want to share that with as many people as possible," said Sgt. Leonard.

With recent acts of terrorism and violence Sgt. Leonard said spreading rumors like this can be dangerous.

"Being in the news just about every day or every week, people are very sensitive to that," said Sgt. Leonard.

Earlier on Wednesday afternoon officials with the Burkburnett ISD posted a follow-up to the rumor on their Facebook page saying there was not a hit list of students and there were not multiple threats made against students.

To help ease the fears associated with these rumors the district asked the Burkburnett Police Department to be at the high school campus on Wednesday a long with a few DPS troopers.

"Law enforcement, state, local and even federal they take threats like that very seriously," said Sgt. Leonard. "Threatening somebody or threatening violence to a particular person or group of people could violate several state or federal laws."

When in doubt, officials encourage everyone to contact local police to verify any rumors involving the safety of our community before posting it to your social media pages.

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