An anonymous threat made on TikTok has various US school districts on high alert.
The threat, which is also being reported as a “challenge,” claims that multiple school shootings will take place on Friday.
As a result, numerous schools across the nation have increased security and issued letters to parents as a precaution. Authorities, however, have deemed the threat to be fake.
“Law enforcement agencies have investigated this threat and determined that it originated in Arizona and is not credible,” the official Baltimore County Public Schools Twitter account tweeted Thursday regarding schools in Maryland’s most populous city.
Still, many parents are being alerted and asked to talk with their kids about the matter.
“Parents, we are asking you to discuss this with your children,” the deputy superintendent of Wisconsin’s Waukesha School District wrote in a letter obtained by Fox 6 Milwaukee. “We take all threats seriously and any threats against the school or district will be disciplined to the greatest extent possible, up to and including expulsion from school.”
The current threats were not specifically aimed at the school district, the superintendent clarified.
As of late November, there had been 32 school shootings in the US in 2021 which resulted in injury or death, according to Education Week. However, 2020 only saw 10 school shootings amid the pandemic.
While many school heads are encouraging parents to immediately report any and all threats they hear of, certain districts are now being deluged with calls.
“Many of our schools are being inundated with parent calls this morning asking about these latest threats and their validity,” Florida’s Citrus County School District tweeted of the situation. “As of Thursday morning, we have not received any indication of a credible threat to any of our schools.”
In Arizona, the Scottsdale Unified School District also emphasized that the TikTok threats for Friday are not credible but that schools are still taking extra precautions anyway.
“You may notice an increased police presence on and around our campuses today and tomorrow,” the district said according to Fox, noting that it “takes all threats seriously.”
In New York, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol said their area schools will have an increased police presence Friday, Syracuse reported.