Viral TikTok Warning of School Violence Has Schools on High Alert

AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File

(CNN) – A vague and viral TikTok trend warning of nationwide school violence on Friday — which authorities have dismissed as not credible — has nevertheless prompted widespread school closures, stretched law enforcement resources and put families on edge ahead of a critical holiday travel season.

A number of school districts in states ranging from Minnesota to Texas announced they were shutting down schools on Friday in response to a wave of videos, some mentioning specific schools, suggesting that students avoid coming to class on Dec. 17. In other areas, law enforcement were on high alert, sending officers to guard schools as a precaution.

The US Department of Homeland Security said Friday morning it has no evidence to suggest the claims are credible but encouraged the public to “remain alert.”

Hilary McQuaide, a TikTok spokesperson, told CNN Friday morning that while the company is aware of vague warnings on its platform of possible school violence, it still has not found any original, specific threats of violence that may have prompted the viral warnings. On Thursday afternoon, the company tweeted that it treats “even rumored threats with utmost seriousness.”

TikTok said Friday it continues to monitor its platform for suspicious activity, but added that media coverage characterizing the viral trend as a threat of school violence could unintentionally encourage someone who may be predisposed to act — creating the very risks that families fear.

“We are deeply concerned that the proliferation of local media reports on an alleged trend that has not been found on the platform could end up inspiring real world harm,” the company said.

The Morning Show with Nikki Medoro asks what parents are supposed to do with these kinds of “warnings” or threats. Nikki also responds to Sarah Silverman calling out liberals for not allowing children to learn from their “normal” mistakes.

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