March 12, 2010
Minneapolis schools lifted a district-wide lockdown Thursday after authorities ruled that an online threat wasn’t credible.
It was the latest in a spate of incidents in which threats or rumors posted online or distributed via social-networking sites spread fast to disrupt Midwest schools.
The Internet “makes it easier for unskilled vandals to hide behind anonymity,” said Jon Giffin, an assistant professor of the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
“It’s just the modern equivalent of someone calling in a bomb scare,” Giffin said. The schools “have to take it seriously just in case it is an actual threat.”
Public schools in Minneapolis went into a district-wide lockdown Wednesday because of a vague Internet threat that police traced to an IP address in Australia. The district kept its more than 33,000 students indoors at about 60 schools and all exterior doors locked. The “code yellow” lockdown continued Thursday but administrators lifted it around midday after police said the threat was not credible.