Vague TikTok threats bring police presence to local schools

Local News

(WTAJ) — Law enforcement and schools are taking extra precautions amid an apparent TikTok trend threatening violence nationwide on Friday. 

The trend is reportedly telling school kids to bring weapons to school on Friday, Dec. 17.

Secretary of Education Noe Ortega said in a press release that The Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania State Police are aware of messages, primarily on TikTok, that warn of possible school shootings and bomb threats for Friday. The threats also are not just limited to PA.

“The Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania State Police are aware of numerous messages circulating on social media, primarily TikTok, regarding school shootings and bomb threats to schools across the nation for tomorrow, Dec. 17,” Ortega said. “These social media posts warn of threats but are not specific to Pennsylvania and do not contain specific threats, schools, actors, or locations.”

In a comment from the Pennsylvania State Police on Friday, Dec. 17, they stated the following.

“Since 6:00 a.m. today, the members of Troop A have conducted over 60 Domestic Security Checks of public and private schools throughout Cambria, Indiana, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties. This is part of our ongoing effort to reassure students, their families, and school staff and also to provide a highly visible deterrent to anyone who may wish to cause harm. We will continue to conduct these checks throughout the day as our operational needs permit.”

Districts across the area have sent out releases addressing the situation and steps that will be taken to keep students safe.

The Greater Johnstown School District will have police presence and additional security at the schools for Friday.

The State College Area School District will also be collaborating with all three local police departments and plan to have an increased police presence around the district for Friday.

Mount Union Area School District Facebook posted that they will also have an increased police presence for Friday.

According to a message on Tyrone Area School District’s website, they do not think the threat is credible however students might also see an increased police presence for Friday as an added precaution.

People are asked to stay vigilant and report any suspicious behavior to Safe2Say at (844)-723-2729 or by going to their website.

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