Tri-State schools increasing police presence after TikTok threats made around the country

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, December 17, 2021
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Police across the country are trying to reassure students and parents after disturbing social media posts calling for possible school threats Friday.

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- School officials and police departments across the country are trying to reassure students and parents after disturbing social media posts calling for possible school threats on Friday.

The posts' origin is still being investigated, but many districts are now taking precautions, especially in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Michigan.

It is a horrifying situation for kids in which history keeps repeating itself, and on Thursday, local police in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, along with Homeland Security, and other school officials outlined the latest threat of school violence playing out on TikTok.

The chatter surrounds December 17, which is being called "Shoot Up Your School Day."

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Nassau County Police Commission Patrick Ryder said the threat is not credible, but it is a drain on their resources.

"'All schools in the United States will be targeted on December 17th. Stay safe. Stay home.' That's gone viral," he said. "We are going to be out there tomorrow visiting every one of our schools."

In Nassau County, that includes 450 buildings -- with fewer cops able to investigate crime.

Additionally, another trend playing out is posts and reposts of stock photos of guns that come with crafted phony threats.

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Nassau police say they are dealing with a significant spike in school threats this year, up 148% from last year and 25% from 2019.

"This is a very difficult time, can't wait for the ending of this," said Dr. Joseph Famularo, Nassau Schools Safety Commissioner. "We just keep working with our staff, working as a team and it really is a team effort."

Hoboken police will also have a presence at area schools, along with others in New York City.

A bulletin distributed to NYPD public-sector and private-sector partners said:

"NYPD is aware of social media posts circulating on TikTok concerning a potential school shooting on Friday, December 17th. At this time, (NYPD) would like our public and private sector security members to know there is no credible information to suggest this threat is specific to any school in New York City. We are working closely with our Federal and State partners to ensure the communication of any relevant information. Out of an abundance of precaution, the NYPD has deployed extra resources around city schools."


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