Although we rarely think about it, what we do online can have an effect on us offline. Earlier today, a shelter-in place procedure was commenced at a local high school as a result of a social media post that prompted concern from school officials.
Earlier today, George Washington High School initiated a lockdown at around 9:30 a.m. due to a social media post of a student claiming to have a firearm.
According to Guam Department of Education spokesperson Isa Baza, school officials and Guam Police Department officers from the Hagatna Precinct and Highway Patrol Division launched an investigation to locate the student responsible for creating the post on Instagram.
John Dela Rosa, the spokesperson of the Guam Community College, says that the officers searched the college’s campus and could not find the student. While it was not required, GCC also initiated a lockdown as a precaution. Students at the University of Guam were also advised of the incident.
Once GPD officers located the student at GW, he then led them to a toy gun which was discarded outside of the school property.
Guam Police Department Spokesperson Sgt. Paul Tapao says that as a result of the investigation, three male students were taken into custody and issued a notice to appear in court.
“Now, this case is being classified as Terroristic Conduct. There are still interviews that need to be conducted and with every case that involves juveniles or individuals under the age of 18, they are forwarded to our Juvenile Investigation Division for followup or for further interviews,” Tapao said.
Baza says that the students involved will be disciplined in accordance with GDOE policies and procedures.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez thanks GPD and the school’s personnel for their swift response in addressing the incident. Fernandez also says that he hopes that students will realize that what they do online can lead to serious consequences.
Tapao also advises others to be conscious of their actions.
“We just simply ask the community and especially the students to make better decisions in their actions because there are always consequences in the end based on the decisions that they make,” Tapao said.
The all-clear was issued for both GW as well as GCC at around 11:40 a.m.