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Tik Tok challenge threat prompts Florence schools to cancel classes

Florence Carlton School Sign
Posted at 8:34 AM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 10:34:11-05

A threat spread by Tik Tok has many schools across the nation, and in Montana, having added police presence Friday.

WCPO in Cincinnati says that the challenge, which dubs Friday as "National Shoot Up Your School Day," encourages students to make threats of violence against their school.

The threats have not been deemed credible by any law enforcement agencies.

The Florence-Carlton School District canceled classes for Friday due to the threat.

School administrators say when they return Monday, there could be added law enforcement patrols.

Dear Falcon Families, The Florence-Carlton School District has become aware of a troubling post that has been shared widely this week on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to a threat to school safety "for every school in the USA, even elementary," on Friday, December 17. 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 that the same post is circulating in their schools. We are closely monitoring the situation and taking this seriously. Out of an abundance of caution, Florence-Carlton School District will be closed tomorrow, Friday 12/17/2021. All games, practices, activities, community use, and classes will be cancelled for tonight and Friday. We will have additional information for families throughout the weekend. Additionally, the district has been in contact with the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office regarding the post. We may have an increased police presence in our buildings when we return on Monday as an added precaution. This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to monitor their children's social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online. 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 Ravalli County Sheriff's Office right away. As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students. Sincerely, Brian C. Rayburn

Also in the Bitterroot, the Hamilton School District announced Thursday they have been in contact with the Hamilton Police Department police and may have increased police presence in their schools Friday as an added precaution.

Meanwhile, Corvallis Superintendent Jon Konen stated in a letter to parents that the district has been in contact with the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office and "may have an increased police presence in our buildings on Friday as an added precaution."

Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton says plans are in place to deal with the widely reported TikTok challenge that encourages students to threaten school violence.

He says the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office, the Hamilton Police Department, the Stevensville Police Department and the Darby Marshal's Office "are working together to provide a significant law enforcement presence at all school campuses."

Parents and students can expect law enforcement officers at the schools.

Sheriff Holton stressed that there has not been a credible or specific threat reported in Ravalli County and "the law enforcement response is to provide sufficient resources to deal with any threat that might be made, as well as ensure parents and students are safe to attend school and functions normally."

"We take every school threat seriously in Ravalli County and will investigate every incident. People who threaten violence towards students or schools will be arrested and charged criminally," Sheriff Holton stated in a news release.

The Blackfeet Tribe has decided to close all schools on the reservation due to the threat.