US Schools Cancel Classes on 17 Dec Over Threats of Bombings, Shooting on TikTok
09:39 GMT 17.12.2021 (Updated: 09:44 GMT 17.12.2021)
LOS ANGELES (Sputnik) - The US law enforcement agencies have urged students to stay home on Friday over unconfirmed threatening messages circulating on the TikTok social network since Thursday indicating that shootings and bombings will take place at schools all around the United States on 17 December.
Late on Thursday, messages encouraging students to stay home Friday due to bombing and shooting threats at schools on 17 December started to circulate on the TikTok social network across the US.
"The FBI takes all potential threats seriously. We regularly work with our law enforcement partners to determine the credibility of any threats... While we continue to monitor intelligence, we are not aware of any specific threats or known credible threats to schools in the Los Angeles region at this time," FBI Los Angeles field office's spokesperson said as quoted by ABC7.
Police departments, FBI and schools' management across the US believe these threats may be a nationwide "TikTok challenge" or are being posted as an excuse to skip school before the winter break.
Nevertheless, schools and police departments took precautionary measures to increase security and patrols on campuses. Police in Salem, Massachusetts posted on Twitter that "there is no specific threat to Salem, but Salem Police will be at our schools tomorrow in greater numbers than usual." The Northborough Police Department posted on Facebook that "Northborough police plan on additional staffing to conduct extra school patrols throughout the day tomorrow."
TikTok responded on Twitter saying that it deals with threats, even if rumoured, and is working with the US law enforcement to investigate any potential violence at schools, but "have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok." Many people replied to TikTok's tweet posting screenshots of messages received from schools saying that extra security has been ensured and there are no credible threats to schools, encouraging students not to miss classes.