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Social media posts spread alarm at schools

Threats of violence at schools nationwide circulated on the TikTok app, urging students to skip school Friday, Dec. 17.

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Park Rapids Area High School Park Rapids Enterprise file photo / Oct. 20, 2021

A trending social media post has caused parents and students to become concerned about school safety, both locally and nationwide.

According to a letter from Superintendent Lance Bagstad to Park Rapids Area school families, the district became aware of a troubling post that was widely shared on the social media platform TikTok.

“The post refers to a threat to school safety for every school in the USA, even elementary, today,” Bagstad wrote on Friday, Dec. 17. “This post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district.”

Bagstad said district staff knew of reports from other districts that the same post was circulating in their schools.

“While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously,” he said. “The district has been in contact with the Park Rapids Police Department regarding the post. We will have an increased police presence in our buildings as an added precaution.”

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Bagstad advised anyone who learns of a potential threat posted to social media or elsewhere to notify a school staff member or a trusted adult right away.

Both Bagstad and Police Chief Jeff Appel confirmed Monday that nothing happened locally on Friday in connection with the TikTok threat.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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