ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The Washington County School District sent an e-mail to parents advising parents to monitor their children’s social media after a national TikTok trend is calling for school shootings Friday.
While there haven’t been any direct threats to the district, officials say they are actively monitoring the situation.
Lilly and Kya are 9th graders in Washington County and say threats on TikTok are becoming more regular.
“I’ve definitely gotten threats myself and it’s not funny, especially all these new threats, like it’s kind of just scary, especially at school, like it’s not alright,” says Kya Soderquist.
“I’ve seen like videos where people just like think they’re super cool and put on vests and have a gun,” says Lilly Deem.
While most of the violent clips have been removed from TikTok, videos with children holding fake and real guns in schools nationwide, are sparking concerns within the Washington County School District.
“Encourage parents to follow their children on social media, and be aware of what they’re doing. Help them understand that this is not a joke, it’s taken seriously, it’s illegal and they will be prosecuted for it,” says Steven Dunham, the Communications Director for Washington County Schools.
Dunham says an email sent to parents mentions any threats would be investigated immediately. St. George Police say they sent out extra patrols to schools, just to be safe.
“If you see something, report it, don’t repost it, because if you repost it, all we’re doing is building the anxiety in the community,” says Dunham.
Kya says her teacher talked about suicide prevention today, mentioning gun safety.
“My family, like we have guns, but I’m not allowed to use them, so I feel like families should have them locked up if they have them and not give them access to kids. I feel like kids should just learn to be nice honestly, even if you’re having a rough time at home, you shouldn’t give it to other kids, and have them be stressed out,” she says.