WLWT: Recent school threat in Greater Cincinnati could be result of contagion factor

UC criminal justice expert speaks to media about school threats and the influence of social media

Students are more wired together by social media than in prior years, and a recent rash of threats could be the result of what UC Professor John Paul Wright calls a “contagion factor”, tied to last month's deadly school shooting just north of Detroit, Michigan.

"We know they spend an inordinate amount of time on social media," Wright said. "They get a lot of their news and information — misinformation — from social media. And this is true for kids that also have some behavioral problems, psychological and emotional problems, too. So when these events happen, they tend to trickle out and extend right to places that otherwise may not have been affected in the past."

But schools are also doing a better job of monitoring threats, says Wright and other experts.

Wright’s work has sought to integrate findings from a number of disciplines, including human behavioral genetics, psychology, and biology. He was the first to graduate from UC’s criminal justice program in 1996 and is now on faculty in the School of Criminal Justice within the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services.  

Watch the interview. 

Featured image at top: Adam Ay/Unsplash. 

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