Schools around the country are responding to an anonymous threat on TikTok that warns students not to attend classes today. The “challenge,” as some have referred to it, tells students to commit acts of violence on December 17, calling it “National Shoot Up Your School Day.”
Hundreds Of Videos Warning Others About Potential Violence
It’s unsure where the original threat originated from, but there are now hundreds of videos on the app talking about this “challenge.” Many are warning others to be careful, and some are so scared they’re skipping school.
“There is a TikTok trend going around telling kids to bring WEAPONS literal WEAPONS to school tomorrow,” one user posted. “If you plan on joining this please don’t, it’s not safe and not worth it, and if you plan on going to school tomorrow please be safe out there.” Another person wrote that they wouldn’t be going to school today because “my parents don’t think it’s safe.”
TikTok Is Investigating
TikTok was quick to respond to the panic, posting a statement to Twitter: “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.” A spokesperson for the company told People that the company is still investigating the situation.
Local Police Are Taking Threats Seriously
The threats of violence have law enforcement on guard, too. In a tweet posted by Florida’s North Port Police Department, they said, “Law-enforcement agencies around the country are keeping a close eye on schools in the wake of nationwide generic school threat conversations.”
The tweet continued, “The threats circulating on social media claiming that December 17 is a day to do harm at schools. The Northport Police Department is aware of the information. We take all threats, joking or not, seriously.”
The Naugatuck Police Department in Connecticut also publicly stated their intent to ramp up police presence in local schools in the coming days. “Due to an uptick in unrelated threats at schools in the region, the Naugatuck Police will be increasing our presence and patrols at Borough Schools in the coming days,” the department wrote. “While there has been NO threat against Naugatuck Schools, students, or staff, the public can anticipate our presence to increase the community’s sense of safety during the coming school days.”
These warnings of school violence come just weeks after the horrific school shooting at Michigan’s Oxford High School, killing four students. The shooter, a 15-year-old student named Ethan Crumbley, is being charged as an adult with multiple crimes, including terrorism causing death and four counts of first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.