Good Idea? Bad Idea?

Bedford’s Fox Lane High School has instituted what they call Anonymous Alerts by text.



A lot in the news about how the latest school mass shooting could have been prevented – many say the young man showed behavior that caused red flags.

So let’s put the Fox Lane alert to the test. What if Johnny  just broke up with Susie and she was angry at him. Could she text an alert to the school, making up something to get back at him for dumping her?

What would the school do with that alert? Would Johnny now have a permanent mark on his record for being alerted? Who vets the alerts? How are they handled? If it’s anonymous but false, what happens to the person sending the false alert?

What is a student related issue? I’m torn about this. Maybe it would prevent a mass shooting. I don’t think so, but I bet the reason for the alert system is to flag kids who are loners. Not all loners are murderers tho.


7 thoughts on “Good Idea? Bad Idea?

  1. We baby boomers are lucky that we did not live through a time when mass school murders were the norm. I do’t know what to make of the crazy kids out there – part of me feels that they’ve been given too much of a voice, those who are bullied or loners I mean, that they’ve seen it as a badge of courage and will show the world what bullying or being a loner really means.

    I do NOT like the anonymous alert plan for the very reason you outlined. Teenagers are hot-headed to begin with. The very littlest thing sets them off. How to determine a real alert from a pubescent one is going to be tough for the school. I would not want to be the recipient of an alert if it was sent in anger and not something that was worthy.

    The man in Parkland was expelled so the school did their part in getting him out of the school. The President just spoke and he was pretty empathetic but most of the mainstream media is laying this on his shoulders and the claiming the NRA and ALL Republicans have bloody hands.

  2. We can assume that most anonymous tips will be worthless. But I think the wheat can be sorted from the chaff — I do trust at least some adults working in education to be able to distinguish between kids being kids and those who pose genuine threats. This kid, for example, was accurately identified by the school as a genuine threat and treated as such. But the issue then arises: what to do about it? Schools themselves have very few resources other than expulsion or referring the matter to authorities, which were ineffective here.

    1. Good points except that you are trusting the administrator to be fair and balanced about the alerts received. That takes stepping back and being objective. That’s tough.

      I don’t think the school was ineffective in this situation. The school did everything right as far as I can tell. They heard he was a threat, they saw all the red flags, they expelled the boy. From there I understand the FBI spoke to him about something, not sure what, but could not go any further. You hear that a lot. So the police and FBI have been put on notice about someone. Then what?

      It’s not a problem that will ever go away with so many angry young men who are set on killing. So what is the solution?

      1. To answer your question about the FBI. Cruz was reported for making statements on someone’s YT channel.
        According to a new report, the FBI was warned last September about a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz who wrote in response to a video by a vlogger that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.”

        As for the anonymous alerts, it can’t hurt. If, as Anonymous said above, the admin vets the alerts and sees what’s real versus what is not, then I’m okay with it. It still won’t prevent the next shooter.

  3. Trump is tweeting that we should all be on alert to behavior that might end up being the kid who shoots but as you said, the school did it right. It was the system afterwards that failed. On the other hand, we don’t want a society where the FBI arrests people on the possibility you might do harm

  4. So now it appears that the FBI was notified by someone close to the family that the shooter had a gun, was making threatening comments about shooting kids at school. This is not good at all! Sorry I don’t have the correct link.

    1. The FBI is admitting now they did not do their job. They missed all the signs and all that was told of them. In their defense tho, I can’t imagine the FBI has the manpower to follow to the end every crackpot in social media. God, look at the threats people make every day in Twitter to the president. It’s endless.

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