Park County: Schools & Law Enforcement Address Threats of School Violence
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 16, 2021
While threats of violence spread on social media, Park County school districts are collaborating with local law enforcement to keep students safe.
Over the past week, a distributing trend has emerged on several social media platforms. While it didn’t originate in Park County, posts on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter have a similar message: incite school violence in U.S schools on December 17.
School districts across the nation are dealing with the latest trend, believed to have originated on TikTok, encouraging bombings and violence in U.S. schools. Unfortunately, the trend has been gaining traction thru shares and copycat posts on all platforms.
In response to the unsettling trend, Park County School District #6 shared the following statement from Interim Superintendent Tim Foley on Thursday, Dec. 16. A nearly identical statement was shared by Superintendent Jay Curtis of Park County School District #1.
Good Afternoon Park 6 Families,
Park County School District #6 has become aware of a troubling post that has been shared widely this week on the social media platform, TikTok. The post refers to inciting school violence, including gun violence, and is now spreading to multiple social media platforms. Language in these posts includes, “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on “Friday, December 17.”
We take any possible threat to school safety seriously and are closely monitoring the situation.
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.
Additionally, the district has been in contact with the Cody Police Department regarding the post. We will have an increased police presence in our buildings on Friday 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. Please speak with your students about proper behavior online and the severity and repercussions of sharing threats of this nature.
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 trusted adult immediately.
As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.
Fortunately, the trend did not originate in Cody, Park County, or Wyoming – there is no reason to think any schools in the state are being credibly threatened.
School districts across the nation are reporting the same kind of posts. While many posts threatening violence maybe be posted or shared by students in particular places, no communities seem to be specifically targeted.
Neither Cody nor Powell school districts said if any local students have created or shared these threats. In other U.S. districts, students have been arrested for their participation in “spreading the message” of school violence.
Law enforcement agencies across the nation suspect the real motive isn’t violence – it’s truancy. Many threats like these are used to close or cancel schools.
Nevertheless, the trend is being taken seriously in Park County. Nothing may happen. Nothing probably will happen. But school officials and local law enforcement agencies are saying alert and ensuring the safety of students.