Communication is key during emergencies

Subhead

Lesson from bomb threat should be to release info or let rumor mill fly

Image
Body

Supt. Eric Wright knows the value of instant communication. He routinely tweets from sporting events to praise a win or offer encouragement during a loss. He often uses the hashtag #proudsupt.

So, surely Dr. Wright can understand why many parents were upset when they received no communication from the district during a recent bomb threat, even though the entire event proved to be a hoax.

Information doesn’t wait on people or institutions these days. Parents were getting information through texts from their children, social media and more. This newspaper jumped in to offer what was hopefully correct information, as opposed to innuendo and false info, in an effort to calm parents. We have seen instances where the social media fire took off with claims of hostages and worse. One longtime Fredericksburger even told us information spread quickly by rumor and gossip long before the days of Facebook.

Instead of seeing the media as the enemy, as is the flavor in Washington, D.C., we hope the superintendent will allow us to help and not view us as a hindrance.

We fully realize his first duties are protecting staff and students. That’s as it should be. It’s also understandable that he didn’t want information shared about the evacuation location, which we shared only after it was released by the Fredericksburg Police Department. Long lines of cars driven by panicked parents can actually block off law enforcement from properly searching the premises.

But zero communication from FISD resulted in more confusion, not less.

 

For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!