Swat Scares

Swatting calls plague Iowa


Central was one of the schools that was targeted. Tensions have been high ever since that call around Davenport.

Jimmy Hepler, Reporter

Many students around Iowa at the beginning of a Tuesday morning were rudely awakened by the threat of an active shooter at their school. Fearful and confused, many got called out by their parents, some brunted the stress and knowledge there might be a threat with them, only to find it was entirely fake. Their school was a victim of a recent trend of swatting.

The term “swatting” refers to calls being made out to people and businesses, and falsely reporting serious threats, such as shootings, or bombings. In this case, on the Tuesday of March 21st, phony calls were made out to Iowa schools about there being a shooting at that school, from Decorah down to Keokuk, hitting Davenport as well. Though it did not hit West, teachers and students, such as Senior Kylie Chapman, still felt the shock and fear of the situation.

“What in your right mind thinks it’s okay to play a prank like that, when it’s actually really serious,” Chapman said.

These prank calls are not anything new. This type of hoaxing can be traced back to the 1970’s, and just recently has dawned the moniker “swatting”. Despite the serious nature of these calls, the people that perform these calls usually do it as a joke, completely ignoring the safety of others they have put in danger.

“There’s obviously something wrong with these people if that’s what they find funny,” Junior Shelbi Buchanan said.

Most students and staff, knowing that these calls are fake, generally echo they feel safe, but still understand the negative consequences this can have on West and Iowa schools as a whole.

“A student or a teacher or a parent or anyone shouldn’t have to question the safety of anyone coming into a school to learn,” teacher Stephanie Hansen said.

Swatting is punishable by law, which can and will end up with fines or even imprisonment. A lot of people at West have seen this as a reasonable consequence.

“Consequences have to happen or people will continue to do things until they do something that’s very serious and they may spend their lives in a jail or prison, which is sad,” Hansen said.

Given the seriousness of the situation, It is strongly advised that if someone knows any information that might help find the origin of these calls, please do so on the P3 app or qccrimestoppers.com, or contact your local authorities.