It all played-out on Twitter this past week. A student sent out a tweet threatening self-harm if schools didn't close. Afterwards, some hailed the student as a “hero” and laughed about the tweet because schools really were canceled on Wednesday. This was due to winter weather.
It appears the tweet threatening self-harm was in response to a weather delay announcement sent-out earlier on the Fairfax County’s Public Schools' Twitter account. The message is dated February 6th and says, “close fcps or I’m hanging myself. I am not joking.”
The laughs followed on Twitter but in person, there was a completely different response.
Thursday night, one parent told WUSA 9 off-camera, “It’s just not funny. It’s not, you know it puts it in children’s heads. It scares people, it scares parents. Just all the way around.”
The parent says her daughter is a FCPS student at Langley High School. Last school year, the parent tells us her daughter faced two suicides.
“She knew one pretty well and actually went to the funeral,” said the mother, “And, as a parent, to watch your child go through that, to have to go to a friend’s funeral at such a young age, it was awful.”
A couple of students told WUSA 9’s Stephanie Ramirez that they do not know the person who made the threat or where they go to school, but they definitely heard about it.
Colter Carton is a FCPS student. He told WUSA 9 Thursday, “If she is posting that seriously, I think they should definitely do something about that immediately but I think, most likely she probably just posted that for favorites or whatever, and I think the school should probably discipline her for it.”
It appears FCPS did Direct Message the student but they won’t say what happened next, citing student privacy.
On Twitter, they sent a follow-up tweet warning students: they take these threats seriously and will notify law enforcement.
If you do want to talk to someone, FCPS also says CrisisLink is hotline you can reach out to in addition to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can contact CrisisLink at: 1-800-273-TALK or text NEEDHELP to 85511.