Trend in threats of violence to schools traced to TikTok

Dec 16, 2021, 7:42 AM | Updated: 2:21 pm
TikTok icon. TikTok believed to be the origin of a disturbing trend, says Utah schools. Photo: Canv...
TikTok icon. TikTok believed to be the origin of a disturbing trend, says Utah schools. Photo: Canva

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A recent social media post sparked fears of a threat of violence to Granger High School. And school officials say they are concerned that the local threat is related to a recent trend in threats to schools emanating from the social media platform, TikTok. 

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, Dr. David Dunn, the principal of Granger High School, issued a statement to the school’s parents and families. 

In the statement, Dunn explained Granite District Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation were working to track down a user who implied a threat to a school, “GHS,” on Friday Dec. 17.

A social media post that sparked fears of threat to Granger school.

Dunn reported that as of Wednesday evening, investigators did not deem the threat credible. However, he added, Granger High School would have an increased police presence on the campus over the next few days.  

“These threats cause needless panic” 

Dunn requested that parents and guardians check their students’ smartphones and their social media platforms to help track down the unidentified user. 

“We have seen multiple instances throughout our state of fake threats being posted in similar fashion to what we see this evening,” he said. 

These threats cause needless panic and concern for our students and their families. We respectfully request that if you are unable to monitor your child’s smartphone and social media use, that you restrict access to it.

Granger is not the only Utah high school concerned about baseless threats of violence to schools causing panic.

TikTok posts encourage students to make threats

The Tooele County School District also published a press release on Wednesday. 

The district explained that they had been made aware of a TikTok challenge that encourages students to make false threats to their schools, as a way to ‘be excused from school.’ They reported the challenge has been found on other social media platforms as well. 

The Tooele District, like Granger, implored families and students to report any suspicious activity to the school administration or law enforcement. 

The Tooele District also encouraged students to avoid reposting a threat, saying it “serves no purpose other than adding to the fear and uncertainty of the situation.”

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Trend in threats of violence to schools traced to TikTok