PUSD responds to TikTok videos warning of violence

A video circulating on the social media app TikTok warning of possible threats to school campuses raised the alert level of districts in the Bay Area and around the country. On Friday, TikTok said it had not found evidence of threats originating or spreading on its platform, only videos “discussing the rumor and warning others to stay safe.” It said “local authorities, the FBI, and DHS have confirmed there’s no credible threat, so we’re working to remove alarmist warnings that violate our misinformation policy. If we did find promotion of violence on our platform, we’d remove and report it to law enforcement.”

PUSD’s message to the community sent on Thursday:

“Our Piedmont Unified School District administration has become aware of a troubling post that has been shared widely this week on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to threats to school safety for schools across the country on Friday, December 17. 

The post appears to be part of a nationwide TikTok trend and did not originate in our District. We have heard reports from other districts that the same post is circulating in their schools. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously.

Additionally, our District has been in continual contact with our Piedmont Police Department regarding this information.

This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing and forwarding posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if threats are determined not to be credible, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask that you monitor your student’s social media activity and speak directly with them about appropriate online behavior.

Here are some helpful resources from Common Sense Media to help guide conversations at home:

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 right away. You may also call the Piedmont Police Department to report any safety concerns, especially after school hours. The ultimate goal is for our community to work together efficiently and proactively when it comes to anything that may result in harm to our students.

As always, thank you for your continued partnership and support as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.”

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