Sheriff: TikTok threats not directly made to Adams County schools

Published 11:58 am Friday, December 17, 2021

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NATCHEZ — Schools in Adams County had an increased security presence from local law enforcement in response to nationwide school threats made on TikTok.
Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten made a social media post on Friday morning stating the treats are being taken seriously — not to alarm parents but “out of an abundance of caution.”

He said his deputies would be out Friday, “walking all schools and patrolling schools’ zones.”

Vague, anonymous TikTok posts circulating online warned that multiple schools would receive shooting and bomb threats Friday, the Associated Press reports.

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The posts follow a disturbing trend that has had students acting out in response to social media challenges. In September, students across the U.S. posted videos of themselves vandalizing school bathrooms and stealing soap dispensers as part of the “devious licks” challenge.

In October, students were challenged to slap a teacher, prompting the National Education Association to call on the leaders of Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to intervene, the Associated Press reports.

Patten said his office is fully aware of the threats and has been in contact with public and private school officials regarding them.

“As of now, no direct threats have been made to our local schools,” Patten states in a Friday morning post on social media. “Our prayer today is that no one nationwide accepts the challenge, but we are prepared to respond in force in the event that it happens. I sent my own children to school today because I don’t want this to be a community that lives in fear of every threat posed, but to be prepared instead to face them if they arise. As you all go throughout your day today, say an extra prayer for the protection for our children and the law enforcement who are sworn to protect them but rest assured that we have your child’s safety in our best interest. As always, if you see something, (say) something by calling 911.”