‘Not credible’: Triad school districts address viral ‘TikTok challenge’ encouraging students to bring weapons to school

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Schools are working to address concerns after a viral social media “challenge” encouraged students to bring weapons to school on Friday, Dec. 17.

Multiple school districts in the Piedmont Triad issued statements saying, “We do not believe the threat to be credible.” Nonetheless, the districts are working with law enforcement agencies to ensure that schools and students are safe.

Some of the school districts and news outlets report that the challenge began on the video platform TikTok. TikTok Communications on Twitter says they have not found evidence that the challenge began or spread on the platform.

“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, 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,” the company said.

Davidson County

The following message was posted to the West Davidson High School Facebook page:

Students: For safety and security purposes, please do NOT bring bookbags to school tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 17. Please bring your charged chromebook, calculators , or any other materials that you need for exams. However, please do not bring bookbags.

Forsyth County

The following message was posted to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Facebook page:

Good morning WS/FCS students, parents, and staff,

As you may be aware, social media posts and rumors are circulating not just locally, but across the country, alleging violence today on school campuses. These posts are generic and are not directly related to any of the schools in our district or our state according to state officials.

Law enforcement is aware and tells us there is no evidence that there is any credibility to these generic posts. However, they will continue to be vigilant and investigate.

We expect today to be a normal school day. We remind parents and students that they can help by never reposting social media posts that threaten schools or individuals. You should report, not repost. If you see a post on social media that appears to be a threat, we ask you notify school and local law enforcement, so that we can work together to investigate. We investigate every threat.

Our schools will continue to employ campus safety procedures, and will continue to communicate with parents if there is a credible threat involving a specific school.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our students.

WS/FCS Communications

———————–

Buenos días a los estudiantes, padres y personal de WS / FCS,

Como ya sabrá, las publicaciones en las redes sociales y los rumores circulan no solo a nivel local, sino en todo el país, alegando violencia hoy en día en los campus escolares. Estas publicaciones son genéricas y no están directamente relacionadas con ninguna de las escuelas de nuestro distrito o nuestro estado según los funcionarios estatales.

La policía está al tanto y nos dice que no hay evidencia de que haya credibilidad en estas publicaciones genéricas. Sin embargo, seguirán vigilando e investigando.

Esperamos que hoy sea un día escolar normal. Les recordamos a los padres y estudiantes que pueden ayudar si nunca vuelven a publicar publicaciones en las redes sociales que amenacen a las escuelas o las personas. Debe informar, no volver a publicar. Si ve una publicación en las redes sociales que parece ser una amenaza, le pedimos que notifique a la escuela y a la policía local, para que podamos trabajar juntos para investigar. Investigamos cada amenaza.

Nuestras escuelas continuarán empleando procedimientos de seguridad en el campus y continuarán comunicándose con los padres si existe una amenaza creíble que involucre a una escuela específica.Gracias por su continuo apoyo y dedicación a nuestros estudiantes.

Comunicaciones WS / FCS

Guilford County

Mike Richey, Guilford County Schools executive director of emergency management, told FOX8:

We are aware of the social media posts circulating at several schools in the district and across the country right before the holiday break. We take them seriously. Law enforcement is investigating, but at this point do not believe these threats are credible.

Rockingham County

Rockingham County Sheriff’s Lt Kevin Suthard said there will be extra patrol cars at the schools they serve on Friday, but would not reveal details on all precautions in place.

The Rockingham Co. Sheriff’s Office is aware of a national TikTok challenge promoting violence at our schools today. We do not believe this to be a credible threat locally, but out of an abundance of caution, there will be increased officer presence at our schools throughout day.

The following message was posted to the Rockingham County Schools Facebook page:

​Rockingham County Schools is aware of a troubling social media post that has been shared widely today on the social media platform TikTok.

The post refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17, 2021.

The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district, or even North Carolina.

As soon as we learned of this social media post, we reached out to law enforcement.

While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are working with the Sheriff’s department and all law enforcement of Rockingham County, and classes will continue as normal tomorrow, December 17, 2021.

The safety of students and staff is our priority, and we take all threats to our schools seriously. We encourage parents to speak with your child and monitor their use of social media, including TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. We also continue to encourage our students to have responsible participation on social media platforms as well. Many threats against schools originate on these platforms. We ask that you, as our partner in your child’s education, alert us to any perceived threats. If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member. We all have extremely important roles in providing a safe learning environment for your child. Thank you for your partnership as we all work to keep safety a top priority!

Stokes County

The following message was posted to the Stokes County Schools Facebook page:

Stokes County Schools is aware of a troubling social media post that has been shared widely today on the social media platform TikTok.

The post refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17, 2021.

The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district, or even North Carolina.

While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are working with the Sheriff’s department, and classes will continue as normal tomorrow, December 17, 2021.

The safety of students and staff is our priority, and we take all threats to our schools seriously.

We encourge parents to speak with your child and monitor their use of social media, including TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

Many threats against schools originate on these platforms. We ask that you, as our partner in your child’s education, alert us to any perceived threats.

If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member.

We all have extremely important roles in providing a safe learning environment for your child.

Thank you to community members for reaching out and helping to keep us informed of posts such as these.

Surry County

The following message was posted to the Surry County Schools Facebook page:

Surry County Schools is aware of a troubling social media post that has been shared widely today on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17, 2021.

The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation, and classes will continue as normal tomorrow, December 17, 2021.

The Surry County Sheriff’s Office is aware of this situation and collaborating with school staff. The safety of students and staff is our first priority. We are taking all necessary precautions, increasing the visibility of staff members and have requested additional law enforcement officers on school campuses tomorrow.

We are encouraging parents to speak with your child and monitor their use of social media, including TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Many threats against schools originate on these platforms. We ask that you, as our partner in your child’s education, alert us to any perceived threats.

If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member.

We all have extremely important roles in providing a safe learning environment for your child. Thank you to community members for reaching out and helping to keep us informed of posts such as these.

Yadkin County Schools

The following message was posted to the Yadkin County Schools Facebook page:

Schools across the United States have been made aware of a “national threat” of bomb or gun threats on December 17, 2021. This is coming after a TikTok trend emerged that said there would be numerous acts of school violence on December 17.

We are aware of this TikTok trend, as is law enforcement. These threats are deemed not credible. They are happening in many communities across the US. However, we will continue to monitor social media and consult with law enforcement.

YCS administration reiterates that students or individuals who make threats of violence on educational grounds will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

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