School Threat Prevention Expert Weighs In On Recent School Threats

Fake school threats like the recent ones at Union and Tulsa Public Schools caused kids to miss class time, both from being in lockdowns and staying home from school. Beeler said TDR’s algorithms determine how much money is lost for every hour kids aren’t learning.

Friday, September 8th 2023, 9:26 pm



All the fake shooting threats to Oklahoma’s schools are costing Oklahomans a huge amount of money.

One estimate shows Oklahomans are footing a bill of more than $300,000 just since this school year started a few weeks ago.

Don Beeler is the CEO of TDR Technology Solutions, a company that tracks the number of threats made at schools across the country and how much the lost classroom time costs.

He said historically, Oklahoma’s numbers have been pretty low, but now, the state is ranked in the top 10.

Fake school threats like the recent ones at Union and Tulsa Public Schools caused kids to miss class time, both from being in lockdowns and staying home from school. Beeler said TDR’s algorithms determine how much money is lost for every hour kids aren’t learning.

"Every day, every week, they're seeing threats,” said Beeler. “To where it affects their confidence in sending their kids to school. And that really degrades their academic performance."

Beeler said the company’s research shows these threats mainly come from two places- students or foreign terrorist groups.

"It used to be a kid calling because he didn't want to go to school today, had a test or something like that,” said Beeler. “You still get some of that. But the two that are most influential is the terror groups that just make those calls, and they'll hit anywhere from 12 to 30 schools a day."

He said people are using Artificial Intelligence and other sophisticated technology to make these calls seem real.

One of the tactics is using voice-changing software, so it appears like multiple people are calling.

"Someone will call the 911 center or the school and say, 'I'm a teacher. There's a shooter here,”’ said Beeler. “And then you'll hear background shots being fired. This started to happen last year; it's more frequent now."

Beeler said his company’s goal is to use this research and software to prevent threats from coming in so students can get back to learning.

"You just see the emotions, and then you just see the parents,” said Beeler. “I can't fathom getting a call, fake or not, that says there's a shooter in my son or daughter's school.”

Beeler said another way foreign groups cause threats is by creating TikTok challenges to encourage kids to create threats themselves.

For more information about TDR, you are encouraged to visit their website HERE.

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