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Violent, viral social media threats continue to impact Utah schools

In the wake of violent threats against schools across the country, many stemming from social media, Utah school districts are on high alert. (Viorel Margineanu, Shutterstock)

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — In the wake of violent threats against schools across the country, many stemming from social media, local school districts in Utah are on high alert.

An alert sent to Granger High School students and their families late Wednesday by Principal David Dunn says the school has been “inundated with rumors circulating on social media about a possible threat to our school.”

Dunn confirmed that police and investigators “have not found any credible evidence of a threat.”

He wrote, “The social media post in question is from a ghost (non-identifiable account) that infers a threat in a couple of days for a ‘GHS.'”

There is no specific mention of Granger High School in the threat and there are multiple schools in Utah that use the moniker “GHS,” as well as dozens more throughout the United States.

Still, Dunn said that the school takes every potential threat seriously and that they are continuing to investigate the matter. In response to the possible threat, there will be an increased police presence at the West Valley high school over the coming days.

In his message, Dunn urged parents to monitor their student’s social media use, saying, “Please check your student’s smartphone device for any of the following social media platforms: Snapchat, Instagram or TikTok. We are looking for a user account on any of those platforms that goes by ‘evil eye,’ ‘serenity’ or ‘yelizaveta.’ If you identify any of those user handles, please contact Granite Police at 801-481-7122 at any time.”

Alpine School District on Thursday sent an email to Orem High School parents and guardians warning of a similar social media post indicating that “OHS” would be “shot up” on Dec. 17.

“We are working with the Orem Police Department to try to determine the source of the post and the threat posed to our school community. We take the safety of our students and staff seriously and are treating this seriously. We have asked for an increased police presence at school,” the email states.

The email also states that Alpine School District has communicated the threat to Olympus High School and Ogden High School and that those schools have received and are reacting to the same social media post.

“It is not clear that Orem High School was the object of the post, but we will continue to be alert to threats to our school,” the Orem parents were told.

Neither the email from Alpine School District nor the alert from Granger High School contained further details of the threats, other than that they are stemming from social media.

Officials warned that students caught making violent threats can be prosecuted. Anyone with further information is asked to report to law enforcement.

These threats come just days after schools in the Box Elder School District were held online Monday as police investigated several potential threats made against schools in the district and after three West High School students were detained after a student allegedly stole a firearm from a family member and bringing it to the school.

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