An alleged new trend on TikTok is causing schools across the United States to close and cancel classes for today, Friday, December 17. As reported by The Verge, school districts in CaliforniaTexasMinnesota, and Missouri have all said they plan to close on Friday due to threats of violence being made on TikTok. Law enforcement and local authorities, however, say they haven’t identified specific or credible threats in most of these situations.

The Verge details the situation on TikTok:

The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating. Videos being posted to TikTok warn others that they should skip school on December 17th due to supposed threats of shootings or bombings, which seem to have prompted others to create similar videos. And now that schools are canceling classes in response to those supposed threats, a new wave of videos have popped up with additional warnings based on both the supposed claims and the actual, factual cancellations of some school classes.

For its part, TikTok says that it is working with law enforcement to investigate the claims, but that it has “not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading” via its platform.

The details here are a bit murky and there’s “little evidence that the threats are credible.” Instead, school districts say that they’ve been made aware of a “trend referencing the possibility of shootings or bombings on December 17th.” In most if not all of these cases, it does not appear that there is a specific threat towards specific schools, but rather broad threats of violence towards schools in general.

One school district in Little Falls, Minnesota, opted to cancel classes on Friday after being notified by the state’s Department of Public Safety about “a TikTok trend that emerged targeting Friday, December 17, as a day of threats of shootings and bombings in schools.”  According to a post on the Little Falls Community Schools website, law enforcement determined via interviews that Little Falls was “specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” unlike other schools and school district that believe they haven’t specifically been named.

And as The Verge points out, this is unfortunately not the first time that viral TikTok posts have put schools and teachers in danger. Just in the past year, there was a “slap the teacher” challenge that went viral on TikTok and turned out to be fake, as well as the trend that encouraged kids to steal and damage school property.

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TikTok threats force schools across the US to close, tighten security
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