'Tik Tok' threats deemed not credible but schools and police still on alert
On Friday school districts and law enforcement across the country and San Diego County were monitoring viral social media posts warning of violence at schools. The vague threats originated on 'Tik Tok' and spread across all social media platforms.
However, none of the threats thus far have been credible or specific, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
"There was a lot of buzz that there was some sort of nationwide 'Tik Tok' trend or challenge that was encouraging threats or, you know, violence against schools but there was never any specific or directed threat that surfaced," said Christine Paik, Poway Unified School District chief communications officer.
Paik said Poway Unified officials collaborated with other school districts when they heard about the threats. But because the threats weren't specific, classes weren't cancelled, she said.
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Even though there were no credible threats, San Diego Police Department officers still conducted extra patrols around schools out of an abundance of caution, according to a SDPD statement.
Dr. Lamont Jackson, the interim superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, said the district is also offering mental health support to students.
"As adults we have to know social media is out there and so we have to recognize it, lean into it listen to our students have them as partners in this conversation to how we meet their needs during these times of threats and social media posts but frankly it’s just sad," Jackson said.
Families with children at Poway Unified schools had the threat on their minds.
"It’s tragic, it’s tragic that our kids have to go to school with fear, it’s not fair, I don’t know why they post things like that," said San Diegan Marie Adamek who was picking up her grandchildren from school.
Joy Hait said her little brother did not go to school because of the threats.
"It’s just scary and there’s nothing you can really do about it anymore because social media is so overpowering, but not to go to school and like stay home," Hait said.
Tik Tok confirmed in social media posts that it has not identified any specific threats and is working with law enforcement. The company also says it is removing alarmist warnings that violate it’s misinformation policy.