There was Caution today after a series of posts on social media threatened schools across several states. Reports say the vague and anonymous posts were made on Tik Tok.
The video claims that there were school shootings planned for today. Authorities say the threats are not specific to Pennsylvania or any schools within the state, but still officials
say they are remaining vigilant. Douglas Braff spoke with area superintendents about these social media videos.
So, Douglas, what do they say? Yes, as news broke yesterday of this Tik Tok trend, as superintendent, I spoke with say they were quick to assess any potential threat.
“We Coordinated with the state police are security guards, and we were extra vigilant on their metal detectors today, this morning. We have armed police officers in our building every
day. We have our own force. But you know, in addition, we did have some people from the Rockview Barracks and Woodland there.
And I personally contacted Rockview Barracks state police ask them to have a presence around the area this morning. They not only were around the area, but they also contacted the
Sheriff’s Office Sheriff’s Office and had them around the area this morning as well.”
The Department of Homeland Security tweeted earlier today that it is aware of the situation and that it quote does not have any information indicating any specific credible threats to
schools, but recommends communities remain alert.
The agency also said it will keep monitoring the situation.
State Police spokesperson referred us to its press release, which, like Homeland Security, said it is aware of the situation and keeping an eye on any threats across the Commonwealth.
Both superintendents say they reached out to students and parents about the situation and asked them if they knew anything about threats to their districts.
Luckily, they told me they found no immediate threats.
“Certainly, I think, to be to be vigilant, to be aware, to have a heightened level of observation and if they see anything of concern to let us know,”
Both tell me there was a slight drop in attendance today.
“However, any time there’s a threat, we have more absences because people worry about their kids. They’re the most important commodity, as are people’s children.”
Phillipsburg Osceola Greg Paladina says this makes classes and other things harder to run
Penns Valley’s Brian Griffith was also sympathetic to those who felt uncomfortable coming to school today. But he says they cannot back down as a community.
“I understand that the reality is we can’t. We can’t cower to the threats we need to look at. What information do we have? It legitimizes these threats.
And I think the best news with small schools is that if we have good relationships with our students and good relationships with our parents, then we’re likely to be aware of these
things before they happen.”
Over the past decade, social media has fundamentally transformed our day to day lives, including those of schoolchildren, and both superintendents say they’re trying to adapt to our
ever changing world.
“It’s the unfortunate times we are in. Social media is not always productive. In fact, sometimes it’s destructive.”
“Social media makes it so much more difficult to run a school
system to teach a class, and it makes it hard on the students. It’s used as a platform for bullying. You know, threats like this happen on a daily basis.”
For more information on how to report a potential threat, please check the website of the Pennsylvania State Police.