Delaware police and schools apparently are among the targets of nationwide calls of false active shooters at the schools.
Delaware State Police issued a statement later in the afternoon that said the calls have been determined to be a hoax and a form of “swatting.”
Swatting occurs when a prank call is made to emergency services in an attempt to generate a large police response at a particular address, the statement said.
Red Clay Consolidated School System posted on its Facebook page that its schools had not received any direct calls.
“Please be advised that law enforcement agencies across the state and nation are receiving false threats of active shooters at various schools,” its post said.
About 11:30 a.m., the Delaware Department of Education said officers were still at multiple schools throughout the state conducting patrols to ensure everyone’s safety.
“Again, no threat has been identified,” the DOE post said.
The Newark Police Department announced at mid-morning that it was increasing police presence at West Park Place Elementary school and others because of an anonymous threat received by the department.
It announced about 3 p.m. that an investigation had shown that the threat was not credible, but the department would maintain increased police presence for the rest of the day.
Red Clay said the safety and well-being of its students and staff was its highest priority and that classes, activities and dismissal will follow standard protocol.
“The threat may not be real, but the panic and fear certainly is,” wrote Traci M. Murphy, a mom who is executive director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence.
The University of Delaware repeated the police release and told its students and staff to remain vigilant and to call 911 if they saw anything suspicious.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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