School Violence TikTok Trend Has Local Parents Concerned
The latest viral TikTok trend has many local parents concerned about their children's safety in the classrooms and hallways of Hudson Valley schools, specifically on Friday December 17th.
Several local school districts have sent messages to their students, as well as parent/guardian distribution lists as a result of a global TikTok trend that threatens school violence on Friday, December 17th.
An article on bloomberg.com around 5 pm Thursday, December 16th discussed how various school districts worldwide were responding to the threats stemming from the popular social media site. Some schools will have increased police presence on the 17th, while others have canceled on-site/in-person classes as a result of the threats. Some students across the US have indicated that they are choosing not to attend school for their own safety.
While the social media based threat itself does not identify a specific school or action, the viral nature of TikTok trends in recent months has generated cause for concern. A tweet from TikTok containing a statement about this trend on their platform stated the following:
We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools.
Here in the Hudson Valley, community based Facebook groups are full of posts from concerned parents questioning whether or not it is safe to send their children to school on the 17th, others asking for advice on how to address the topic with younger school-aged children ahead of sending them to school.
As a parent of a child in the Wappinger Central School District, I received a message around 1:45 pm on December 16th as part of a weekly 'Educational Update' message that addressed the TikTok posting, citing the district had received a number of notifications throughout the day from concerned community members. It went on to say that an extensive discussion with a local police department resulted in the decision to have increased law enforcement presence at schools throughout the district on Friday, December 17th. It then noted that the safety and security of the district's students and staff remain their top priority and that they will provide any additional information if needed.
Though it appears this trend started out as an excuse to skip school on Friday, December 17th, the way in which things escalated and the direction the school threat trend has taken is quite frightening.