A TikTok challenge has left schools across the country and in Maryland on high alert over the next few days.
The threat posted on the app is targeting all schools in the U.S., calling Friday, December 17 "National Shoot Up Your School Day".
Across the state, counties are taking these threats very seriously and are ensuring the public that they are aware and there will be an increase in police presence on many of the campuses.
Here is how counties are reacting to the threat:
Anne Arundel County:
Our school system continues to work with county police and the Maryland Center for School Safety as it relates to the circulating anonymous social media messages regarding threats against schools that are spreading nationwide. At this time, there continues to be no credibility to the viral postings. Additionally, none of our schools has received a credible threat.
Out of abundance of caution and to help alleviate anxiety on Friday, December 17, county police will be making additional checks at schools throughout the county. The presence of county police officers at our school is certainly welcome by our school system and should not be interpreted as being in response to any credible threat. Please know that our school system will notify families of any credible threats and action being taken in response to those threats should that situation occur.
We are expecting a normal instructional day on Friday, and appreciate the efforts of our students, families, staff, and partners in law enforcement and the community at large to help make that happen.
We urge parents and guardians to speak with their student about the impact these types of viral messages can have and the inappropriateness of posting or sharing them, even as a joke. They are in no way humorous, and their presence requires the expense of tremendous resources across multiple agencies.
Anyone with any information about a credible threat should contact police immediately.
BCPS has been made aware of an anonymous threat posted on TikTok targeting all schools in the United States. The post alleges that there are planned school shootings that will take place on Friday, December 17. Law enforcement agencies have investigated this threat and determined that it originated in Arizona and is not credible. We want to continue to encourage members of Team BCPS to report suspicious or threatening activities or postings. We appreciate your partnership as we work to keep students and staff safe.
In relation to the TikTok School Threat Friday event scheduled for tomorrow across the nation, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has received notifications of threats throughout the day for Frederick County schools and is preparing accordingly.
“We have received numerous social media messages concerning acts of violence in our schools and at this time not one of those threats is credible,” said Lt. Jason Deater, FCSO School Resource Officer commander. “We are using every available investigate tool to include court orders to social media providers to identify those involved. “Working with our partner agencies, we will take swift action on anyone found making threats of violence in our schools. This is an extremely serious situation and every threat will be thoroughly investigated.”
For Dec. 17, the FCSO will exhaust all efforts by bringing in additional deputies, community deputies, and detectives to patrol schools throughout the county. Additionally, expect an increase of mobile unit patrol checks of all Frederick County schools. If you have any information that can assist us in identifying the individual(s) these threats are coming from, call 301-600-1046. You can also report this anonymously by emailing FCSOtips@frederickcountymd.gov
The following message will be sent to all contacts via Connect5, our mass communication system, phone, email, and text, Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
Information has been shared with school administrators in several Harford County Public Schools buildings that there is an anonymous, general threat being made via TikTok against all schools in the United States for this Friday, December 17, 2021.
HCPS School Administrators, School Resource Officers, and law enforcement agencies take all threats very seriously. They immediately investigated the situation and have not found any valid or supporting documentation that the threat is credible to Harford County Public Schools. You may still see an increase in police presence on school campuses this Friday as our law enforcement partners support HCPS and are always striving to ensure students and staff know their safety is our utmost priority.
We continue to encourage students, staff, and families that if you see something, you say something.
Please take this opportunity to talk with your student about the seriousness and resulting consequences of making any kind of threat, and about the appropriate use of social media, and encourage your students to speak with you, an adult at school, and the SRO if they see or hear something, so that immediate action can be taken. Thank you and we look forward to seeing students for instruction on Friday as scheduled.
We will update as more counties respond.