Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 31, 2012

Facebook prank causes Blooming Grove lockdown

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Facebook strikes again — this time in Blooming Grove.

The creation of a fake Facebook account has launched a police investigation, and caused the Blooming Grove High School to be locked down on Halloween, according to Principal Karen Lane. It’s also started a flurry of rumors that grew like wildfire all morning Wednesday.

“There’s no threats, no bomb threats, no gun threats. It’s just eerie Halloween stuff, like ‘I walk the halls with you,’ and ‘you never listen to me,’” Lane explained. “They didn’t think we’d take it seriously, but anytime something like that comes up I will take it seriously. I don’t care if it’s a practical joke. It’s not funny and I don’t appreciate it.”

The prank started with an apparent fictitious Facebook account for “John Smith” who sent friend requests to various Blooming Grove High students.

“They live in a good community and trust everybody, so everybody befriends this person,” Lane explained.

Lane said law enforcement is investigating the IP address to track down the computer that created the account. The Blooming Grove Police Department is also involved, as is the district’s resource officer.

“You’ve got to take it seriously,” said Blooming Grove Police Chief T.C. Lawhon. “Until we can prove it otherwise, we’re going to have to take the appropriate measures to make sure the kids and staff are OK.”

The incident came to light on Tuesday afternoon, but on Wednesday morning the entire school staff came in early, and they decided to go on maximum security or lockdown, just to be on the safe side, Lane said.

“These are precautions taken to ensure safety,” she said. “I feel sure once the person is caught there will be no more pranksters in Blooming Grove on Halloween.”

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com