Schools step up security in response to threats on TikTok

Schools step up security in response to threats on TikTok

MGN

Educators have announced plans to increase security in response to TikTok posts warning of shooting and bomb threats at schools around the country Friday as officials assured parents the viral posts were not considered credible. The posts circulating online warned that multiple schools would receive shooting and bomb threats. The threats had many educators on edge, as they circulated in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Michigan, which has been followed by copycat threats to schools around the country. TikTok said it was working with law enforcement to investigate. The posts follow a disturbing trend that has had students acting out in response to social media challenges.

Statement from Superintendent of Roanoke County Schools Ken Nicely:

Roanoke County Public Schools has become aware of a troubling post that has been shared widely this week on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17. The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from other districts that the same post is circulating in their schools. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously.
Additionally, the district has been in contact with the Roanoke County Police Department regarding the post. They will have an increased police presence at our schools on Friday as an added precaution.
This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff, and hinder law enforcement in investigating the source of these posts. We ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online. For resources and more information please see www.rcps.us/internetsafety.
If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member, the police department, or trusted adult right away. You also can use our SpeakUp system. For more please see www.rcps.us/speakup. As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.
Sincerely,
Dr. Ken Nicely, Superintendent
Roanoke County Public Schools.
Statement from  Roanoke City Schools:
There is a troubling post that has been shared nationwide this week on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17. As you know, tomorrow is an on-demand virtual or asynchronous learning day, so our students will not attend school in person; however, we are asking for your help to have discussions with your student to avoid incidents such as this in the future.The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from neighboring districts that the same post is circulating in their schools. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we do take it very seriously. The district has been in contact with the Roanoke Police Department regarding the post.
This is an example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to monitor your children’s social media activity and have a conversation with your student(s) about the danger of these challenges and the logical consequences that will result for anyone who participates in any challenges involving violence, vandalism, or threats. This is a reminder, if you or your child hears something, say something. Notify a school staff member or trusted adult right away.As always, thank you for your support as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.

The post Schools step up security in response to threats on TikTok first appeared on News/Talk 960-AM & FM-107.3 WFIR.