Local School Districts React to Alleged Threats of Violence on TikTok
Schools were on alert across the country and in the northwest suburbs on Friday, after rumors spread of a TikTok challenge. The viral message supposedly challenged students to make threats to schools, or perform acts of violence, on Friday, Dec. 17.
However, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported that it was not a credible threat, and local school districts sent out messages to families to make them aware of the situation.
Public safety officials with the Anoka-Hennepin School District encourage parents to talk to their kids about responsible use of social media.
“There is no credible threat with this, but that doesn’t mean a student in a district won’t repeat it, re-post it, and try to get some legs on it,” said Tim Fournier, the emergency management coordinator for Anoka-Hennepin Schools. “In that case we do try to investigate all of these, and if we find out there’s a local student involved in sowing chaos or continuing to sow that distrust in a daily lifestyle of a student or staff member, we do investigate with law enforcement. And if necessary, we will charge them.”
TikTok released a statement saying they searched exhaustively for content that promotes violence at schools, but have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok. Instead, what they found were videos discussing the rumors, which violate the platform’s misinformation policy.
1/ Update: we’ve exhaustively searched for content that promotes violence at schools today, but have still found nothing. What we find are videos discussing this rumor and warning others to stay safe.
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) December 17, 2021