Active shooter hoax incites terror and dread for students, teachers and parents across Utah.

Reading Time: 3 minutes The active shooter hoax that terrorized Utah left many feeling the effects of what a school shooting could feel like; The Review speaks with some of them.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

On March 29, there were 13 active shooter hoax calls made to schools in Utah, which caused terror and confusion for families and students across the state.

Utah is not the only state that received similar active shooter calls over the last few days. According to KSL TV 5, the Department of Public Safety reports that hoax calls were made to schools in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. 

It is reported that all the threats in Utah came from the same unknown source. 

The Review had a chance to interview individuals who were involved with some of the schools that were impacted. Katie Durphey, a student at Springville High School where a lockout protocol was enforced, told The Review that it wasn’t long after the lockout that people from other schools began texting her classmates that there was a shooting at Spanish Fork High School. 

“I had just played against them in the state tournament for basketball and I was thinking about how those girls had just experienced such a good part of their life,” Durphey stated, at the time it wasn’t known that the calls were a hoax. “Now [a school shooting] would happen to them.”

Ashley Bergman, a parent of a student at Maple Mountain High School, told The Review what it was like for her on March 29, saying, “Presley, my daughter, texted me in a panic that they were in lockdown and my heart dropped. I panicked and in that moment I couldn’t breathe.” 

Bergman has been a mother for 22 years, and she said this was the most traumatic moment she’s experienced as a mother.

Afton Ogles, a student at Springville High School told The Review, “There is a risk for me to go to school because I live in the U.S.” She said that it is sad that school shootings are becoming normal. 

Ogles expressed that she is angry and disappointed. She said that after this experience, school shootings feel more real than they ever have before. She went on to say that she had friends who were having panic attacks during the lockout and some who still have not come back to school after Wednesday; the diversity of responses from the students was bizarre. 

“There were some people crying in a corner and others that were joking about the situation,” Ogles recalled.

Eliya Allphin, a student at the Spanish Fork MTECH, told The Review that the hospitals and ERs were preparing for the children from these schools to come in with gunshot wounds, and no one came. 

“It was a massive waste of resources,” Allphin expressed. She was grateful that everyone took the calls seriously and knew what to do, but was saddened that they had to. 

Robert Lister, a history teacher at Springville High School, said in comments to The Review, “As a teacher I am terrified and not for myself.” Lister keeps a baseball bat in his classroom in case a situation like a shooting occurs. Lister expressed his disappointment, saying that he is sorry that his generation has let the next down, saying, “My generation, my parents’ generation, have failed the young people of today. Unfortunately we keep kicking the problem down the road to let you guys and your children have to solve this issue.” 

Durphey said that in a conversation with her classmates, they wondered, “How much more has to happen before something is going to change?” 

“We will tell your generation that banning guns won’t work, that banning stuff doesn’t work all while Congress is having a meeting right now about banning things like TikTok,” Lister asserted in response to the shootings in Tennessee. “At least they are now being honest, instead of trying to hide it. Because we know where they stand and it’s disgusting.”

Reporting a fake shooting is punishable as a misdemeanor or with federal charges, which could include prison time.

The Review will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.