New TikTok Challenge Being Looked at As Authorities Respond to Series of Violent Online Threats Against Schools
School districts in Connecticut and law enforcement agencies are looking at a series of online violent threats made against schools across the country.
Officials believe that it may have originated a new TikTok challenge to get classes canceled on Friday, according to a Hartford Courant report.
Connecticut Intelligence Center noted that none of the threats has been found to be specific or credible against schools within the state.
Meanwhile, officials have been investigating the threats for several days. Several school districts were prompted on Thursday to release statements about the threat and to quell concerns over student safety.
Brian Foley, the assistant commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said that the trend appeared to start out as an attempt for kids to get out of school, almost as if to create a skip day.
Foley said that the incident then morphed into the fear of threats of school violence.
New TikTok Challenge
The social media threats had educators on edge as they spread after the deadly school shooting in Michigan, which has been followed by several copycat threats to schools elsewhere, according to an ABC News Go report.
School officials in Arizona, Connecticut, and Illinois said on Thursday that there would be an increased police presence due to the threats.
Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania announced the same measure.
The threats include school shootings and bomb threats.
Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, school administrators emailed parents and said they were writing to inform them and not alarm them of the issue of being made aware of a TikTok trend about "school shooting and bomb threats" for every school in the U.S.
Meanwhile, TikTok said it was working with law enforcement to investigate the matter.
They said in a statement that they have not yet found any evidence of such threats originating or spreading through TikTok.
Gilroy High School in northern California was among the school districts that decided to close the school facilities on Friday.
Some of the TikTok challenges that participated in had raised concerns, such as the case in October wherein students were challenged to slap a teacher.
National Education Association called on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok officials to intervene.
Meanwhile, a 14-year-old boy suspected of making a series of threats to commit violence at a Corona middle school was arrested, according to an ABC 7 News report.
Corona police said that the department was alerted at 2 a.m. on Wednesday due to threats at Auburndale Intermediate School.
Police noted that nothing out ordinary happened, but a student reported an additional threat made through social media in the early afternoon.
The threat suggested an act of violence would be perpetrated on Thursday due to the police department being present at the premises.
Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis said that the 14-year-old boy was apprehended on grounds of suspicion of making criminal threats.
However, a search of the residence failed to produce weapons.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Social media threats prompt extra security at Utah schools - from FOX 13 News Utah
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