WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local school districts are responding to nationwide threats being made on social media.
An ongoing viral TikTok trend is encouraging student violence and to bring weapons to school Friday, December, 17 to, “every school in the USA, even elementary.” Although this trend originated outside of the North Country, leaders from local school districts addressed the issue.
According to Gouverneur Schools Superintendent Jacquelyn L. Kelly, the District had reports from other districts that the post is circulating in their schools. She said the district is closely monitoring the situation and it has been in contact with New York State Police.
“This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats,” Kelly said. “Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.”
Indian River Central School District Superintendent Troy Decker also addressed the threatening challenge in a message to the community. He said along with the TikTok threats, the district was also made aware of an Instagram trend where students create anonymous accounts to target others.
Superintendent Decker confirmed that Indian River had not received any reports of specific threats, but is also working with local law enforcement.
Ron Burke, the Superintendent of the Canton Central School District, also posted a message to the district’s Facebook on Thursday night, after sending a message through its parents and guardian notifier.
“We have been made aware of a TikTok social media post circulating regarding a warning about school shootings nationwide on December 17, 2021,” Burke said. “Law enforcement across the state have been reviewing the posts. While there is no direct threat to our schools, we are working with our local law enforcement agencies to increase visibility on campus for tomorrow.”
Additionally, South Jefferson Central School District Superintendent Scott Slater confirmed that all district personnel is aware of the challenge, including its School Resource Officer, administrative team and bus drivers.
Superintendent Slater confirmed that the administrative team will be doing building checks first thing in the morning before students arrive at school and will increase its presence at arrival time.
New York State Police and local law enforcement will also be increasing presence in schools out of an abundance of caution, many of the districts stated.
None of the districts that sent letters to the community have received any reports of specific threats. However, all schools stated that if any individuals receive information regarding a legitimate threat, they should call 911 and their school principal immediately.