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Viral TikTok trend threatens violence in US schools on Friday

Viral TikTok trend threatens violence in US schools on Friday
School districts and police departments across the country have said no credible threats have been identified

A disturbing TikTok trend threatening violence across American schools has gone viral, with students and parents being asked to report posts to law enforcement and not to share them further.

The anonymous social media threat has suggested that school shootings and bombings could take place on Friday 17 December in schools across the country.

The posts, which ABC2 said are believed to have originated in Arizona, encourage students to stay home that day.

Several school districts and police departments across the country have responded by releasing statements assuring communities that no credible threats have been identified.

The threat comes just over two weeks after the US was rocked by its worst school shooting since 2018.

På 30 november, 15-year-old sophomore student Ethan Crumbley allegedly opened fire inside Oxford High School in Michigan, killing four students and wounding seven other people.

The motive for the attack is unclear but the suspected gunman’s parents had allegedly bought their son the firearm just four days earlier as an early Christmas present, according to authorities.

In the days after the mass shooting, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the tight-knit town had been rocked by a “huge spike in threats” of violence ever since.

På tirsdag, schools in Oxford County were then forced to shutter after a school district received a threat aimed at staff and students at its middle school.

Nå, schools across the country are responding to the threat of nationwide violence now circulating on social media.

In Florida, de Citrus County School District released a statement on Thursday addressing the rumours and urging parents and students not to promote the social media post further.

This booking photo released by the Oakland County, Mich., Sheriff’s Office shows Ethan Crumbley, 15, who is charged as an adult with murder and terrorism for a shooting that killed four fellow students and injured more at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., authorities said Wednesday, Des. 1, 2021.

“This morning we’ve seen an increase in rumors on social media regarding a national school threat post that has gone viral,” read the statement, posted on the district’s Facebook page.

“It seems students, along with parents, are either sharing a post or manipulating the original post to reflect a new threat at a specific school. This is creating disruption at many of our schools today.

“Because of this, many of our schools are being inundated with parent calls this morning asking about these latest threats and their validity.”

The district urged people to report any specific threats to law enforcement rather than reposting them.

“We are not only asking students but parents as well, to report any information of a specific threat to law enforcement immediately – DO NOT repost on social media.”

As of Thursday morning, the district said it had not received “any indication of a credible threat to any of our schools” and its schools will be open as usual on Friday.

It added that the critical alert system was activated at one school – Crystal River High School – on Thursday morning due to a medical emergency involving a student which had “nothing to do with a threat of any kind”.

derimot, the district acknowledged that the online threats meant this incident had “created a heightened sense of concern at all of our schools”.

Over in Illinois, the Glenview Police Department also addressed the nationwide threat on its Twitter page.

“The Glenview Police Department is aware of a threat circulating on social media regarding school shootings and bomb threats at every school in the country on Friday, desember 17, 2021,"Heter det i uttalelsen.

The police department said the threat does not specifically list any state or location and that no credible threat had been found.

Law enforcement officers will patrol school grounds as usual on Friday and people are encouraged to “remain vigilant”.