OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - Schools across the nation are taking precautions against a troubling trend circulating on social media.
South Florida authorities are reminding students that school threats are not a game.
A TikTok trend has been circulating online, which has several South Florida schools shutting their doors on Friday.
The app is known for circulating viral video trends called TikTok challenges.
The new challenge warns that a school shooting will take place on Dec. 17.
The threat has been shared by students across the country but does not mention any one school directly.
Law enforcement said these trends are not a joke, and they will be outside schools in heavy numbers.
Broward County Public Schools released a statement that read, “While this threat did not originate locally, and is not believed to be credible, there will be increased law enforcement presence across our schools.”
“America’s education system is under attack right now,” said Broward County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright. “We are under attack by a social media platform that will not intervene when it is necessary. Our students are not able to absorb the material that is being presented to them because of the fact that they are scared.”
District leaders for Miami-Dade also released a statement that read, “The Miami-Dade Schools Police Department is carefully monitoring this matter. In an abundance of caution, there will be additional police presence and schools will remain vigilant throughout the day on Friday.”
TikTok, however, has since released the following statement, “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.”
“Federal government, we need your help,” said Dr. Cartwright. “We need some type of oversight so that these types of threats stop.”
“Kids have no right to privacy online,” said M-DCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “It is a responsibility of parents to monitor that, to have conversations about expected behavior. Secondly, the companies that make literally millions and millions of dollars of profit need to assume greater levels of responsibility over the monitoring of their own sites and platforms.”
This comes just one day after police arrested a 13-year-old North Miami-Dade Middle student.
She was accused of posting a message on Instagram that read, “ATTENTION! IF YOU DONT WANNA LOSE YOUR CHILD DONT SEND THEM TO SCHOOL TMR & FRIDAY,” followed by a list of schools.
In the same week, 14-year-old Mehdi Idriss was arrested after he threatened other students at his school through a Snapchat group text on Tuesday. Some of the messages included a list of other students saying they were on his “list” and that he would bring a gun to school Wednesday.
Students who make these threats will spend 21 days in juvenile detention.
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