Threat against South Fort Myers HS through social media went unnoticed for a week

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Credit WINK News.

A threat made to the South Fort Myers High School through Instagram went unseen by the school for a week before it was discovered and reported to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The Lee County school district said on January 24, a threat was sent from a 13-year-old boy as a direct message to the school’s account through Instagram.

The message wasn’t discovered until a week later, during a weekly check of their Instagram messages from unapproved accounts under ‘message requests’.

They say because the account was not approved, it was not seen in their primary inbox.

The district says the threat was only sent through Instagram a no other social media platforms.

According to the Lee County school district, that teen is facing legal consequences and discipline from his current school.

The contents of the threat, the student’s name, and the school the student attends have not been released by the school district or the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

WINK News safety and security specialist and former FBI agent, Rich Kolko, says all districts should do more when it comes to school safety. He warns, one unanswered credible threat is enough to kill.

But he also said it’s next to impossible for districts to monitor all accounts all the time.

Should they monitor them more?

Kolko said, “You’ve got a school district that has countless social media accounts across multiple platforms. They’re facing shortages of personnel in the front office, teachers support staff. So the ability to monitor social media accounts in real-time. It’s a false hope.”

Tech expert Alan Crowetz with InfoStream added, “Kids tend to be a lot further up on technology than school administrators …  Maybe they come up with a written policy that talks about what’s done each day, if it’s reasonable. Again, there are so many different ways for an organization to be contacted or messages to be put out there. You can’t catch everything.”

The teen faces charges for sending an electronic threat to conduct a mass shooting. He also faces discipline per the Student Code of Conduct.

If you see something, say something. That remains to be the advice in staying vigilant against potential threats.



Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.