Rochester Area Schools Respond to Tik Tok School Shooting Challenge
Authorities across the country have been investigating the latest Tik Tok challenge which calls for multiple school shootings today on December 17th. So far, nothing has been found to suggest the threats are credible, but leaders at area schools are taking them seriously. Read emails to families from the Rochester Public School District and Byron Superintendent below.
Area school officials say they have not received any threats at this time. Byron's superintendent did say students may notice extra law enforcement in and around schools today.
Letter from Rochester Public Schools:
RPS has not received any threats at this time, we take all threats very seriously and will follow our procedures which include promptly reporting threats to local law enforcement.
Dear RPS Families and Caregivers,
This week, a nationwide challenge has emerged on a social media platform called Tik Tok. This trend involves making threats of gun violence against schools, school staff, and students tomorrow, Friday, December 17, 2021.
We are writing to let you know that Rochester Public Schools (RPS) and the Rochester Police Department are aware of this national threat circulating on social media.
Second, while RPS has not received any threats at this time, we take all threats very seriously and will follow our procedures which include promptly reporting threats to local law enforcement.
We are asking our parents and caregivers to please encourage your student(s) not to participate in this Tik Tok challenge. This challenge is unsafe, disrespectful, and creates fear.
While the challenges are sometimes seen as jokes or pranks, students who are found to have participated will receive serious disciplinary consequences, such as suspension, expulsion, or criminal charges.
We thank you in advance for your support and partnership in education.
Rochester Public Schools
Letter from Dr. Mike Neubeck from Byron Public Schools:
We may have an increased police presence in our buildings today as an added precaution.
The Byron School District has become aware of a troubling post that has been shared widely this week on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to a threat to schools “for every school in the USA” for today.
The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from other districts that the same post is circulating in their schools. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously.
Additionally, the district has been in contact with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department regarding the post. We may have an increased police presence in our buildings today as an added precaution.
This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online.
If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member or trusted adult right away.
As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.
Dr. Mike Neubeck
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