TikTok school threat challenge puts Valley school districts on alert
An alleged TikTok trend has led to increased security in school districts around the Valley.
According to our NBC affiliate WMTV, the social media challenge promotes violence or threats of violence at schools across the U.S.
Liberty Schools have made the decision to use a 'calamity day' due to concerns from the community. Liberty students will not have class Friday in-person or remotely.
The district previously planned to have Blott Guy PK-6 students learning online because of a message found written on a school restroom wall. Community concerns prompted the district to cancel school for all students.
The Liberty Police Department is aware of the threats and says they are not substantial.
21 News reached out to Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene about the TikTok trend. His office is aware of the situation and has reached out to school resource officers in the area.
Sheriff Greene said none of the threats made have been found to be legitimate as of this writing, but said it is important to be aware of what's being said on social media.
Austintown Schools called to make parents aware of the TikTok challenge. Lakeview Schools sent out a similar call to parents.
Crestview Local Schools also released a letter about the challenge. According to the letter, no threats have been specifically directed at Crestview.
Columbiana School Superintendent Don Mook posted the following message on the district’s website:
Attention Columbiana Staff, Parents and Students: We have been made aware of a TikTok Challenge involving threats being made against schools in order to cause disruption and increase fear with families. The Columbiana Police Department, County Sheriff, and Police Department across the county are additionally aware of this social media platform. Columbiana Schools intends to have and increased police presence. We take all threats seriously. If a student is involved with any of these behaviors, the district will follow the code of conduct which includes: Suspension, Expulsion and Law Enforcement Involvement. If you learn of anything concerning social media threats please email those directly to the building principal, as well as any platforms, usernames, account names etc. The district administration will follow up with our school resource officer to research the source. Although the majority of Columbiana students would never participate in these types of stunts, please speak to your child(ren) about the possible consequences for participating in TikTok or other Social Media challenges.
Other districts in the area say they are aware of the challenge and have let their resource officers know, but there have been no changes to their operations.