‘Suspicious’ device found at San Juan County school amid overnight threats


FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 photo, a logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Authorities have discovered a “suspicious device” on Friday following threats against the San Juan School District made through social media.

On Friday, Dec. 17, all schools with the San Juan District moved to online learning amid threats received by a school on Thursday afternoon. Authorities say later that evening, a “suspicious device” that appeared to be a type of homemade explosive was found on another campus within the district.

Upon further investigation, authorities say the explosive was non-functional, but still posed a safety threat.

Officials believe these incidents are connected to a nationwide trend circulating on TikTok encouraging students to bring weapons to school. Administrators and officers have been dealing with a string of similar incidents in Utah this week affecting East High School, West High School, Box Elder County Schools, Granite District schools and more.

Many affected schools were either on lockdown or moved to remote learning upon receiving the threats.

Officials are still investigating the case. Classes will resume on Monday, Dec. 20, officials say.

“Should anything come to light in our ongoing investigation to require a change of plan, we will again reach out to inform parents and public,” says Ron Nielson, SJSD Superintendent. “Again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we look further into these incidents.”

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