Local parents’ concerns over viral TikTok threats in schools

[anvplayer video=”5078451″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – Schools across the nation have canceled classes Friday amid a TikTok challenge prompting kids to make threats of gun violence and bombings to schools.

Some school districts across Minnesota are taking this threat so seriously they went to remote learning for the day.

Locally, parents have had mixed feelings about the situation; Some took their kids out of school for the day, others did not. Most local school districts seem to be taking the matter seriously.

Law enforcement agencies across Minnesota reported 29 threats to schools in the state with nearly half of those threats coming in the last 24 hours.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is unaware of any credible or specific threat to schools in Minnesota.

Rochester Public Schools sent out a letter to parents saying RPS and the Rochester Police Department are aware of this national threat circulating on social media. However, RPS has not received any threats at this time.

Superintendent of RPS, Dr. Kent Pekel, issued a statement to ABC 6 News: "Like school districts across the country, in Rochester Public Schools we are closely monitoring threats of gun violence against schools that have been spread on the social media platform TikTok…At this time, we have received no reports of threatening behavior, but we will continue to work with the Rochester Police Department to ensure the safety of our students and staff."

Steve, a parent of two kids in the Pine Island School District, says he still sent his kids to school today.

"I do think that I mean any threat given the day and age and the climate that we’re in should be taken seriously but I am not scared to send my kids to school because of it," Steve said.

For parents like Nicole Magnuson, these threats are concerning.

"It’s gotten to a point where it’s ridiculous you know. And it’s all stemming from a TikTok trend," Magnuson, a mother of three in the Stewartville School District said.

"People aren’t taking the realistic threat of it. Yeah, maybe nothing happened today, but the possibility of it happening because of a trend is ridiculous," Katie Johnson, a mother of three in Byron Public Schools, said.

DPS encourages anyone with information about a possible threat to contact local law enforcement so the threat can be thoroughly investigated.

Rochester and Austin Public Schools issued alerts saying if you or your student receive any information on a potential threat to report it.

RPS also says if a student is found to have participated in a threat like this, they will receive serious disciplinary consequences such a suspension, expulsion or criminal charges.