Are school threats, swatting calls costing taxpayers money? One expert believes so

May 9, 2023, 6:45 AM

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Shelton View Elementary went into lockdown Monday afternoon after Bothell police say a threatening phone call was made to the school. When first responders arrived on scene and searched the property, they found no suspicious person or item on campus.

But this isn’t the first time in the past few days schools have been impacted by fake threats. Redmond High School closed its doors last Friday after someone threatened the school through Snapchat. After investigating, police determined it was a non-credible threat.

Some companies like TDR Technology, which tracks threats and swatting calls, believe the problem is only getting worse.

“So, this problem is extremely disruptive,” CEO Don Beeler said.

Beeler says not only have these threats risen in recent years, but it’s also costing people in the Evergreen State taxpayer money.

“It’s about $1.2 to $1.3 million dollars just in lost instructional time. So, there is a real impact on the taxpayers for this ongoing type of threat,” Beeler said.

Beeler says based on their numbers, they have seen dozens upon dozens of school threats made in Washington, impacting thousands of students. He said this not only hurts people’s wallets, but students’ time as well.

KIRO 7 caught up with parents who have children in the North Shore School District. They are happy to know that there was no imminent danger inside the building, but they worry these sort of calls are getting out of hand.

“Man, we’ve got to figure this whole thing out,” a parent named Bernard told KIRO 7.

“Then everything is about safety now, so there has got to be a little bit of balance of, ‘Okay, the kids are going to be fine. Let’s maybe have police around, but maybe not lock it down,’” another parent stated.

And while it is a frustrating situation for many parents, they tell KIRO 7 keeping kids safe is what matters most.

“Man, I’ve got to make sure my little guy’s right at school. Yeah, every single time I’ve got to make sure he is okay,” Bernard said.

Beeler said his company also looks into solutions on how to prevent swatting calls or fake threats from happening.

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Are school threats, swatting calls costing taxpayers money? One expert believes so