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School threat made on TikTok causes two school districts to close buildings

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 8:12 PM CST
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FAIRFIELD, Ala. (WBRC) - A troubling post shared widely on social media this week has caused local schools to close campuses.

The Fairfield City School District along with Bessemer City Schools made the tough decision to close district buildings out of an abundance of caution.

And the Jefferson County Sheriff is reacting to the threat.

The post threatens school safety for “every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17.

As a result, the school districts decided to make Friday a remote learning day.

The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend.

School leaders in both Fairfield and Bessemer said the post did not originate in their school districts.

In a statement, Fairfield City School Superintendent, Dr. Regina Thompson, said: “We have been in communication with other school districts as it relates to this post, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is also aware of the matter. While the threat is not believed to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously.”

“TikTok is not a game. Bringing guns to school is not a game that needs to be played at the schools. Kids need to come to school to get an education and that’s what we want. We want that type of environment,” said Jefferson County Sheriff, Mark Pettway.

Both the Fairfield and Bessemer City School Districts closed campuses Friday as a precaution opting for remote learning.

In a statement, Bessemer City School Superintendent, Dr. Autumm Jeter said: “This situation serves as a good example of why it’s 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.”

“So, we want to make sure that everybody’s responsible. Parents, make sure that you know what your children are doing to make sure that something like this don’t happen at the schools. We don’t want kids playing games like TikTok at school to disrupt the learning at the schools,” Sheriff Pettway said.

School leaders said it’s unfortunate that we live in a day where social media is used to start dangerous or fear-raising pranks and challenges.

They ask that parents and caregivers have conversations with their children about appropriate online behavior.

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