Mother cited for public nuisance after posting to Facebook about possible school shooting

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico mom has a criminal record now because of something she put on Facebook that caused a panic at her son’s school.

She posted a rumor about a school threat. It all started with a Facebook post.

32-year-old Jeanette Garza Alvarez posted to Facebook, warning Sierra Middle School parents after receiving some disturbing information from her son.

“A parent of a student at Sierra Middle School had posted on social media that her son had told her that there was going to be a shootout at the school,” said Todd Wildermuth, Roswell Police spokesman.

The post read “Anyone else’s kids go to Sierra? My son says some 8th graders are planning on bringing guns to school maybe Monday and have a shootout to see who’s the first to die.”

She went on to say that her son told her the school even made an announcement on the intercom about what to do if there were a shooting.

According to the criminal complaint, Alvarez told police that she only made the statement to gather information on what she had heard from her son.

That following Monday at least 160 students skipped school, which is why police say they gave her a citation for creating a public nuisance

“Her concern for her son’s safety and for other student’s safety was certainly understandable, but what should have been done was to call the school, call the police department, let them know what she had heard,” said Wildermuth.

Ginny Hatfield kept her daughter home from school that day.

“I think the mom that posted it did the right thing, I mean, I didn’t send my daughter to school because of it and I’d rather her be safe than have something possibly happen,” she said.

Other parents say Alvarez should have waited and talked to the police or the school district before taking to social media.

“I think it was irresponsible, she should have got a hold of the authorities first thing and they would have known how to handle it,” said Tina Ridgeway, whose children used to attend Sierra Middle School.

The judge decided not to give Alvarez any jail time. She only has to pay $29 in court fees.

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