Current Conditions

Light Rain

STAHN: When schools get 'swatted'

April 24, 2015 - 8:26 AM

Prank calls are not new; how many people don’t remember calling up a neighbour and asking if their refrigerator was running? Or asking a business to page Amanda Huginkiss?

Harmless pranks, probably funnier when you think back on it now. But today's prank calls aren't what they used to be.

You were likely introduced to the word 'swatting’ recently: A caller makes a threat, usually to do with bombs or guns, that results in police showing up en masse to deal with a potential serious situation.

Within a week it happened at two schools in Kamloops, and in Coquitlam, and Duncan, and Arizona, and Massachusetts, and likely many, many more places.

In Kamloops, young students faced lockdowns and police patrolled the school grounds with guns drawn. Not only is it maddening, as a taxpayer and a concerned citizen, to see police resources wasted in such a manner, but it evokes some terrible image of Sandy Hook and Columbine. Who is cavalier about that? Who finds that funny?

Police have better things to do with, gang issues, vehicle collisions and missing people files to be dealt with. Yet our officers are kept busy by a bunch of people who think a clever prank is to have police swarm a school.

Yet calling these pranks sort of take away from the seriousness of the event. Pranking should be harmless. Implying a threat against a person, or an entire school, is not exactly harmless. Having police swarm in with guns is not exactly harmless.

So let’s call this what it is. These people are not just pranksters. They are not simply ‘swatting.’ They are making threats and causing fear in people and they should be held accountable for their actions. Which means be punished to the full extent of the law.

To contact a reporter, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • Warnings about fentanyl-laced marijuana in the Southern Interior
    THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Fentanyl is being mixed with marijuana here in the Southern Interior, leading the Kamloops ASK Wellness Society to be even more concerned about the rise of deaths related
  • Kelowna Conservation Officers save large buck tangled in volleyball net
    KELOWNA - Conservation Officers reportedly came to the rescue of a large buck that was entangled in a volleyball net, according to a Facebook post by the Conservation Officer Service "D
  • Kamloops senior almost swindled out of $4,800
    KAMLOOPS - Yesterday, a Kamloops senior had a close call with a pair of brazen scam artists. Staff Sgt. Edward Preto says in a release that yesterday, Oct. 21, an elderly woman received a ph
  • Saying goodbye to Kelowna’s perogy king
    KELOWNA – Whether you knew him from the slopes of Big White or his restaurant in downtown Kelowna, you never forgot the first time you tried Cecil’s perogies. Cecil Warwaruk move
  • Crews respond to fire at Kelowna casino
    KELOWNA - This morning, firefighters responded to a minor fire at Chances on Springfield Road. According to a release issued by Dennis Miller of the Kelowna Fire Department, crews received a

View Site in: Desktop | Mobile