US: Schools closed amid viral TikTok threats


As a TikTok challenge went viral this week, citing threats of violence at schools across the country on Friday, some districts cancelled schools on Friday.

While investigators think the Friday threats stemmed from a challenge on the social media app TikTok to skip school on Friday, state police say the rumors have expanded across other social media platforms.

In a statement released Thursday, TikTok said it is working with law enforcement agencies to investigate the threats.

"We take even rumored threats seriously, which is why we're collaborating with law enforcement to investigate into concerns about potential violence at schools, even if we haven't uncovered evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok," the social media app stated.

Connecticut State Police stated on Thursday that no serious or specific threats have been made against any of the state's schools. However, late Thursday, the administrator in charge of Region 10 schools announced that threats had been identified in relation to "particular" schools in the region.

Regional School District 10 Superintendent Howard Thiery announced shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday that school officials had received information from state and local police about possible threatening information specific to Region 10 schools, which include four Burlington and Harwinton schools: Lewis S. Mills High School, Har-Bur Middle School, Lake Garda School, and Harwinton Consolidated School.

"The police are aware of the specific persons involved and are currently conducting an investigation," Thiery added.

Thiery stated that he chose to close schools on Friday since the threats were found so late on Thursday.

“The safety of our students and school community is paramount and in order to open schools I must have all the information possible that assures us that our schools and children are safe,” Thiery said.

"Police are aware of the exact individuals involved and are launching an investigation," Thiery added.

Thiery indicated that he elected to close schools on Friday since the threats were discovered so late in the day on Thursday.

Several incidences have occurred around the state in recent weeks, triggering police investigations, early dismissals, and school cancellations in some cases, including in Danbury, Hamden, New Haven, Trumbull, Ansonia, Norwalk, and Windham.

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