Social media a common thread in NM school threats | KOB 4

Social media a common thread in NM school threats

Brittany Costello
February 26, 2018 12:37 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It's been a terrifying few weeks for parents and students nationwide after tragedy unfolded in Parkland, Florida. Since then, a wave of new threats unfolded at schools across New Mexico, even resulting in students being placed in handcuffs in some instances.


There is one common thread among almost all of these threats – social media. It's easily accessible and a local psychologist says it's become an outlet for some suffering with mental illness.

“We don’t view social media life as being a real part of life, but kids do,” said David Ley, a clinical psychologist.

After the school shooting in Florida, people around our state are using that platform to wage their own threats of violence.

“What we see is that those who are at most risk are the ones who are socially isolated in the real word,” Ley said. “Social media is their only kind of outlet and connection.”

Without a username and password, you may not know what's happening under your nose.

“Most of the Facebook trolls and most of the Twitter trolls that we see, most of the people that are engaging in this horrific, challenging, obsessive threats – they’re males, and they are males that were already obsessive and socially impaired.

So how do we stop it? Ley says it starts with a very important conversation.

“None of these kids have a grownup in their life who is sitting down talking with them about, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’” he said. “‘When you spend all night on social media, what are you doing?  Who are you talking to? What are you talking about?’”

Ley said the real priority is getting those people at risk the help they need before it's too late.



Brittany Costello

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