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Why, Burnbook? Why do you have to exist?

Law enforcement resources get tied up tracking down juvenile males

A new social media app served as the platform for two confirmed threats of violence in San Diego area schools this week.

Burnbook, a platform to "anonymously share thoughts and memories," was used to post an unspecified threat against students and faculty at El Cajon Valley High School shortly before 1 a.m. on the morning of March 11. In response, police beefed up their presence at the school during the day until the post was eventually tracked to an eighth grade student at a local middle school, who was subsequently arrested on criminal threat charges.

Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies in San Marcos were investigating another threat made hours earlier against Mission Hills High School — the anonymous poster there indicated he was in the process of constructing a firearm. The missive was tracked to a 14-year-old student on the campus, who, after a determination was made that he did not possess or have access to any sort of weaponry, was released to parents. Authorities and school administrators have not yet announced any potential disciplinary steps to be taken.

The recently launched app has quickly gained in popularity among teens, despite terms of use prohibiting anyone under 18 (or 17, with parental consent) from accessing its contents.

Law-enforcement officials have expressed concerns that the site exists largely as a means through which to conduct harassment and cyber-bullying. They have bemoaned the loss of resources tied up by investigating what have so far turned out to be inflated omens of danger.

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"Inflated omens of danger," indeed. What's next? Reports on what is written on the restroom walls?

March 13, 2015

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A new social media app served as the platform for two confirmed threats of violence in San Diego area schools this week.

Burnbook, a platform to "anonymously share thoughts and memories," was used to post an unspecified threat against students and faculty at El Cajon Valley High School shortly before 1 a.m. on the morning of March 11. In response, police beefed up their presence at the school during the day until the post was eventually tracked to an eighth grade student at a local middle school, who was subsequently arrested on criminal threat charges.

Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies in San Marcos were investigating another threat made hours earlier against Mission Hills High School — the anonymous poster there indicated he was in the process of constructing a firearm. The missive was tracked to a 14-year-old student on the campus, who, after a determination was made that he did not possess or have access to any sort of weaponry, was released to parents. Authorities and school administrators have not yet announced any potential disciplinary steps to be taken.

The recently launched app has quickly gained in popularity among teens, despite terms of use prohibiting anyone under 18 (or 17, with parental consent) from accessing its contents.

Law-enforcement officials have expressed concerns that the site exists largely as a means through which to conduct harassment and cyber-bullying. They have bemoaned the loss of resources tied up by investigating what have so far turned out to be inflated omens of danger.

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"Inflated omens of danger," indeed. What's next? Reports on what is written on the restroom walls?

March 13, 2015

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