Social media once again puts schools on alert

“It concerns me to the point where I really have thought about just keeping my kids home”
“It concerns me to the point where I really have thought about just keeping my kids home”
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 7:19 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Schools nationwide are once again on high alert.

Tik Tok is back making headlines. Officials say threats of school violence on Dec. 17 are circulating on the app.

Tik Tok, on Twitter, denied that there was evidence of violent threats on their application.

The Twin Falls School District sent out a message to families saying they were aware of the situation. The full statement can be seen below.

“Hello TFSD Families,

The TFSD has been made aware of a dismaying nationwide TikTok challenge for Dec. 17, 2021 that is encouraging students to make threats of violence against their school. We are in contact with our local law enforcement about this situation and they will assist us to keep our campuses safe. To be clear, we have not received any local threats towards TFSD schools. We are simply trying to be proactive and keep our school community informed.

Now is a great time to discuss proper social media use with our children. As always, school safety is a shared responsibility. Please remind your children of the importance of reporting any unusual activity by their peers to school administrators or other trusted adults. Our district takes any safety concerns very seriously and will respond accordingly to ensure the safety of all students and staff.”

There have been 32 school shootings nationwide this year and plenty of threats made online via social media. Police departments like the one in Hailey are more and more vigilant with these threats.

Even if Friday is last day of school before the holiday break, there will be increased precautions in January.

“In case someone does get an inclination to do something because of this notoriety of the Tik Tok challenge, we wanted to make sure we were on our toes a little more,” said Hailey Police Chief Steve England.

Alicia Pruitt is a parent with two kids in an area school district. The increase in threats is at the least, causing unease.

“It concerns me to the point where I really have thought about just keeping my kids home (that day) and saying ‘You know what, I’m going to call and excuse you from school because maybe you’re safer at home’,” she said.

Even though she knows school staff and law enforcement are well trained for potential incidents, there is always uncertainty.

“What if that one day I decide, ‘oh, no big deal,’ and send my kid to school and it really does happen,” said Pruitt.

Conversations about heavy topics, such as school safety in the age of social media, may not be the most comfortable, but for Pruitt, these are necessary.

“You do have to take it as a teaching moment and teach your kids to use social media in a more positive way because there are so many things that can be so positive and impactful out there,” Pruitt said.

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