School districts across the country are issuing warnings, increasing security and cancelling classes Friday in response to vague, anonymous shooting and bomb threats being made on TikTok that officials say are not considered credible.
Schools in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York and Pennsylvania will increase their police presence Friday due to the threats while schools in California, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas closed for the day.
The threats come in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Michigan and numerous copycat threats to other schools.
“We are writing to inform you and not alarm you,” Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, school administrators said in message to parents. “We have been made aware of a nationwide viral TikTok trend about ‘school shooting and bomb threats for every school in the USA even elementary’ on Friday, December 17.”
The administrators said local police departments would increase their presence around schools “out of an abundance of caution.”
Gilroy police in northern California said they had found threats on social media not to be credible, but school officials at Gilroy High School said final exams scheduled for Friday, the last day before winter break, would be postponed to January out of an abundance of caution.
“Making the decision to cancel classes tomorrow has not been an easy one,” Principal Greg Kapaku said in a message to parents.
TikTok announced the company was working with law enforcement to investigate in a statement released on Twitter.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness,” the statement said, “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.”
Important message from @laschools regarding keeping our schools safe. We look forward to seeing everyone at school tomorrow!
Mensaje importante del Distrito Unificado de Los Ángeles sobre cómo mantener nuestras escuelas seguras. ¡Esperamos verlos a todos en la escuela mañana! pic.twitter.com/v2dt0X2v66
— Los Angeles Unified (@LASchools) December 17, 2021