A wave of shooting threats at U.S. schools is spreading on TikTok and other social media, raising concern among school administrators and authorities.
The threats do not mention a specific school and authorities indicate that many of them are not credible. However, schools in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York and Pennsylvania will increase their police presence, while schools in California, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas will close all Friday, according to Bloomberg and USA Today.
“We’re writing to inform them and not alarm them,” school administrators in Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, said in a message to parents. “We learned of a nationwide TikTok viral trend about’ school shootings and bomb threats for all schools in the U.S. UU. Even the primaries ‘ on Friday, December 17.”
We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we're working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok.
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) December 16, 2021
Social media threats
Northern California police said they found the threats on social media were not credible, but Gilroy High School officials scheduled Friday’s exams for January.
TikTok said in a statement via his official Twitter account that he has not found that the threats originated from his short video platform:
“We handle even rumored threats with the utmost seriousness, so we are working with law enforcement to investigate warnings of potential violence in schools, although we have found no evidence that such threats originate or spread through TikTok.”