On the face of it, it seems like a good idea.
After the horrific Columbine school shooting spree of 1999, “Safe2Tell” was invented to provide students, parents and schools a telephone/online interface (including iOS and Android) to report suspicious gun-related behavior.
But the devil is in the . . . ideas ricocheting in the heads of the people doing the implementing.
A student of a Loveland, Colorado, high school posted to social media his excitement about going shooting with his mother, with photos of several handguns and an AR-15. He expressed his enthusiasm with “Finna be lit,” which, Jay Stooksberry of Reason explains, means “going to have a fun time.”
Somebody anonymously alerted the Safe2Tell system, and the police stopped by the lad’s home while he was still out shooting.
Was the anonymous notice earnest? Or was it, instead, something far more ominous? Kids have dubbed the alert system “Safe2Swat,” referring to “swatting,” which, The Complete Colorado explains, “is a term that is used when someone deceptively sends police and other emergency services to another person’s address through false reporting of an emergency or criminal action.”
Though the police were quick to dismiss the worry, the local school was not. “The following morning,” as Stooksberry tells the tale, the lad’s mother “received a voicemail from the Thompson Valley School District, stating that, until further notice, her son was not allowed to return to school.”
While the administration finally relented, its handling of the situation led to the student being harassed at school by other students.
Who may have “swatted” him in the original report.
Not a fun time — “finna be NOT lit”?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.