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Evansville News Station Mobile Text Alert Panics Bosse High School Parents

(Rodney Hunt)

In today’s world getting breaking news alerts on your phone is nothing new – especially when you’re in the business of news like we are. But the mobile alert I received this week from a local news station sent me – and others I’m sure – into a whirlwind of panic for no reason.

The alert read “Students threatened with gun inside Bosse HS, parent tackles suspect.” My first thought was, “Where’s my kid?” Second thought, “My kid doesn’t go to Bosse. Get the story out so other parents know what’s going on.” So I contacted the media manager here at the station to coordinate getting the breaking news. Then we clicked on the link for the story from the mobile alert.

Then I started to fume. But it wasn’t the story that got me riled up – it was the text alert.

Here’s why: We live in an age where it is almost commonplace (tragically) to live in fear that our children will one day be confronted at school with a gun (see: the Columbine High School Massacre) We live in an age where it is almost commonplace (tragically) that our children will have their lives threatened by violence at least once before they reach adulthood. It was just this summer where in Colorado a young man opened fire at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises and took the lives of 12 innocent people. Our children are threatened by violence in the most mundane every day places possible despite our best efforts to keep them safe – we can’t keep them locked up – especially not at school.

As a journalist with 25 years of experience I can safely say this particular breaking news mobile “alert” was misleading. If you received this alert please reading the following:

Evansville Police have arrested a teenager for allegedly threatening students with a BB gun at Bosse High School Wednesday night. -By Brad Conaway

So, after I had my mini-heart attack and learned that this wasn’t nearly as bad as myself or other parents initially would have thought, I wanted to make sure that anyone looking for details about this, had the correct information. The text alert message was correct but left out vital information that would not have panicked me or other parents.

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