At least three Minnesota school districts have decided to close schools Friday due to a TikTok threat that encourages gun violence in schools throughout the U.S. on Friday, Dec. 17.
Districts across Minnesota were notified of the Tiktok threat by the Minnesota Department of Education, which has been in contact with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to communicate the threat to local law enforcement throughout the state.
The threat is not believed to be credible, but law enforcement and school officials are monitoring the situation. Despite the threat not being believed to be credible, some districts have closed, including Lakeville Area Schools, which announced at about 5:45 a.m. Friday that it received a threat overnight.
“Yesterday we communicated with you about a nationwide Tik Tok challenge to threaten school safety on Dec. 17. Overnight we, unfortunately, received a social media threat,” the announcement from the district reads. “We take any threat to school safety seriously and worked aggressively with the Lakeville Police Department to investigate the threat throughout the night and determine its credibility. Despite those efforts, this investigation remains active. Out of an abundance of caution for our students, staff and families, and to support this investigation all schools and district buildings will be closed on Friday, Dec. 17.”
Brainerd Public Schools has also closed Friday, saying its decision was “made at the request of local law enforcement.” Also closed Friday are Swanville Public Schools. The district said there are no threats directed at the district, but the decision to close was made due to “concern over the recent TikTok challenge regarding school violence.”
Farmington Public Schools has moved to a flexible learning day after it received a threat Thursday night, a message on the district website reads. All district buildings will be closed and locked on Friday.
In a statement to FOX 29, the Minnesota DPS said “there is no evidence to suggest that any mass casualty or severe violence incidents will occur on this date, within Minnesota or the U.S. more broadly.”
Increased police patrols will be likely near schools statewide on Friday as a precaution.
The message from Minneapolis Public Schools to parents reads: “We want to ask our families and community to please talk with your children about responsible use of social media. Perpetuating false information and promoting violence is very serious and should not be taken lightly. Social media is a powerful tool and we hope that students will promote positive initiatives that reflect the values of our schools and community.”
Bring Me The News will update this story as the situation develops.