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Published May 09, 2012, 05:54 PM

Social media plays a big role in situations like the Agassiz Lockdown

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- As students sat in their lockdown classrooms here at Agassiz, social media became part of the entire scenario, many of the students taking their phones to facebook, text and email their friends and family, often sharing misinformation creating un needed anxiety.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- As students sat in their lockdown classrooms here at Agassiz, social media became part of the entire scenario, many of the students taking their phones to facebook, text and email their friends and family, often sharing misinformation creating un needed anxiety.

New technology is both a friend and an area of concern for us.

As Fargo police blocked off streets and surrounded Agassiz, students inside were receiving and sending messages on their I-phone. It became clear to authorities and school officials, social media was playing a role in all this as the incident unfolded.

Rick Buresh, Fargo School Supt., says, "Despite rules, there is communication occurring and sometimes it is accurate, sometimes it is not."

But what also became clear is this. After years of training, practicing and planning, the school and law enforcement response was seamless, and unheard of just a decade ago.

Media seldom ever reported on bomb threats. But Tuesday, live reports throughout the day. It also played a role in dispelling rumors of bombs and a gunman.

Deb Dillon/Agassiz School says, "And that gets passed on as fact."

Keith Ternes, Fargo Chief of Police, says, "It is a significant component and the forethgouth that there has to be a strategy that outlines how we are going to respond to that kind of incident."

Clearly after Columbine, schools and police forces throughout the country changed how threats are handled.

That was the catalyst that set in motion that we need a uniform and collaborative to handle this situation.

And there is no question, our metro area response to Tuesday's crisis came off well because of practice and planning.

The school district was able to use it's "Connect-Ed" system to alert parents whose children were affected in the specific schools in the city.

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