TikTok School Shooting Threat, promising nationwide December 17 attacks has Chicago area schools taking precautions.
PARK RIDGE, Ill. (WLS) — An unfounded threat of school violence spreading on the social media app TikTok has prompted several Chicago area school districts to respond Friday.
Police say there is absolutely no indication the threats are credible. Some districts like in Park Ridge have stepped up patrols as a precaution.
“This is just something where someone posted and is encouraging violence in the schools,” said Tom Gadowski with Park Ridge police. “Very simple. I don’t want to go any further than saying that there’s an encouragement of violence.”
The anonymous posts circulating online warned that schools across the country would receive shooting and bomb threats Friday. The posts also encourages students to stay home.
Authorities believe the threats are not credible. Still, some police departments are stepping up their presence around schools, ready and alert for anything out of the ordinary..
“Every police department takes any type of threat very seriously, whether it was a note that was left in the bathroom or social media that now has a national platform,” Gadowski said.
Chicago Public Schools told parents in an alert, “The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” adding, “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
Several suburban school districts sent similar warnings.
“If the school does their part there’s no need to worry,” said John Davis, parent of a Main South High School student.
The superintendent at Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 sent in his note to parents, saying there will be an increased police presence at buildings on Dec. 17.
Barrington School District 220 also notified its community of the national threats. School officials said Barrington police have confirmed the threats are unsubstantiated at this time and there is no viable threat to students or staff.
District 220 also said it will add police support, in addition to its school resource officer, over the next several days “as a precautionary measure to reassure students and staff.”
TikTok says it was working with law enforcement to investigate and that it, “handles even rumored threats with utmost seriousness.”
Glenview Police Department said it is aware of the threat and encouraged “everyone to remain vigilant,” but added that there is no credible information that it is related to any school in Illinois.
Glenview police said they will continue to patrol all school grounds in the area. Suspicious activity should be reported to police, the department said.
Friday morning, the Department of Homeland Security said they do not have information about credible threats to schools.