In a frightening incident, school districts across the US decided to cancel classes on Friday owing to reports of threats being made on short-video app TikTok that children and teachers should skip school due to “supposed threats of shootings or bombings”.
The schools cancelled classes in response to those supposed threats, as a new wave of videos popped up with additional warnings based on both the supposed claims and the actual, factual cancellations of some school classes”, reports The Verge.
Districts in California, Texas, Minnesota, and Missouri said they planned to close down schools on Friday in response to the threats.
“Elsewhere, districts have said they plan to have heightened police presence or have emailed parents to say they’ve been investigating the allegations,” the report said late Thursday.
Several districts and law enforcement divisions said that the threats are not credible or even real.
“Law enforcement agencies have investigated this threat and determined that it originated in Arizona and is not credible,” Baltimore County Public Schools posted on Twitter.
“Currently, there have been no threats to any of the schools in Mexico, (Missouri),” wrote a Missouri school district.
“There have been no local, credible threats,” Ohio’s Milford Exempted Village School District wrote to parents.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy tweeted: “There are no known specific threats against New Jersey schools.”
TikTok said it has not identified any videos making specific threats.
“We have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” the company tweeted.
TikTok said it is working with law enforcement to look into the warnings with “utmost seriousness”, nonetheless.
“At least one police department says it viewed a message threatening a school on Friday: Police in Gilroy, California describe a threatening post that included initials matching a local high school, and school was cancelled as a result,” the report noted.