School districts increase security over TikTok shooting threats challenge

NOW: School districts increase security over TikTok shooting threats challenge

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A social media challenge promoting Friday as “National Shoot Up Your School Day” has school districts across Michiana on alert. The posting on TikTok threatens shootings, bomb threats, and other violent acts.

“There’s no way to really not have some anxiety around this type of episode," said Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, a child psychologist.

School threats have been on the rise via social media throughout Michiana over the past several days.

The majority of the threats have been isolated incidents, but a new national TikTok challenge has multiple school districts increasing security ahead of classes this Friday.

At least a dozen school districts in Michiana have already responded to the threats Thursday evening, reassuring parents of no real threat.

Most are still placing additional officers on campuses out of an abundance of caution.

According to Dr. Holstein, a child psychologist, the threats could cause mental health concerns for some students. She recommends parents encourage social media breaks.

"There’s no way to get away and that’s a very serious factor and only the parents really can work with a child to really control how social media enters the home," said Dr, Holstein.

The now viral videos encourage students to make bomb or shooting threats at their schools.

In a message to parents, Warsaw Community Schools shared "This is an educational opportunity for parents across the nation to have a conversation about the appropriate use of social media."

Districts are also encouraging parents to have their kids notify school officials should they become aware of any planned potential threats.

Dr. Holstein says providing open conversations is the best way to create a safe learning environment moving forward.

“Even if it comes to nothing. It’s stirring up with parents and children all sorts of concerns," said Holstein.

In response to this threat Goshen Community Schools will be having an e-learning day and Dogowiac Schools will be closed tomorrow.

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