Since the onset of the pandemic, San Diego Unified and other school districts across the country have seen an increase in threats of violence circulating on various social media platforms, including TikTok. Currently, there is a video circulating on TikTok nationally, encouraging violence in schools on Friday, December 17, 2021.
The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from other districts – from Baltimore to Los Angeles – that the same post is circulating in their schools. None of our schools have received a specific TikTok threat.
While we do not believe the TIKTok threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and the safety of our students and staff is a top priority. School Police have been in direct contact with the National Law Enforcement Coordination Center, the FBI, and other local law-enforcement partners to investigate this threat. We may have an increased police presence in our buildings on Friday as an added precaution.
Please know that we take each and every threat directed towards our schools and members of our school communities very seriously. School Police work with other local law enforcement agencies to closely monitor the situation, actively assess any threats to our schools, and respond immediately as needed to help keep our schools, students and staff safe. This could include additional safety resources being placed in and around schools. Our principals and school staff also become extra vigilant to help identify anything that may be out of the ordinary. Every school is equipped with a unique emergency preparedness plan and training to implement it.
Maintaining the safe school environments our students and staff deserve takes all of us working together. Here’s how you can help:
- If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member or trusted adult right away, and if the threat is imminent, please call 911 immediately.
- Talk to your child about the importance of letting you know when they learn of any threats of violence at school, and of not participating in or promoting any threats of violence.
This situation also serves as a good example of why it is important to talk with your children about not posting or reposting online threats that refer to or could be understood as school safety risks. Posting threatening language on social media is very serious. Doing so violates the Student Code of Conduct and in many cases the law, both of which can result in very real and significant consequences for students engaging in these behaviors.
Supporting the safety and well-being of our students and staff is one of our most important shared responsibilities. By working together, we can help deter these threats and the emotional impact they cause so our schools can continue to focus on helping our students heal, learn and grow. Thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.
San Diego Unified School District