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Online violent threat challenge puts local schools on alert

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 11:35 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Local school districts operated at a heightened level of security Friday due to a nationwide threat that emerged as a challenge on the Tik Tok social media app.

School districts across the country are advising parents about the potential “challenge” to make violent threats.

Law enforcement agencies across the country agree that these threats are not likely credible, but many are working directly with schools to increase security patrols out of an abundance of caution.

The Aiken County school district said Friday that officials were aware of the social media chatter regarding threats to schools.

“We always work diligently with our local law enforcement anytime there are threats to schools,” a district spokesperson said.

The Columbia County School System, which had only a half-day of classes planned Friday ahead of the Christmas break, said it was in contact with local law enforcement agencies. Out of an abundance of caution, local law enforcement was to be visible Friday in the district along with a school resource officer on every campus.

On Friday, the district administration was notified of a different threat circulating on social media, mentioning several schools both in and outside of the Columbia County School District. The sheriff’s office has been notified and is currently investigating. Meanwhile, the district says students will continue to dismiss early on Friday as planned.

“Threats of any nature are not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” parents of students in at least two Columbia County schools were told in messages.

Parents of students at Evans High School were told that if parents felt it was warranted to keep their children home, the school administration would work with them and allow the students to make up their midterm exams when school resumes in January.

The nationwide school threat comes as the CSRA sees a dramatic spike in school threats, both online and written in restrooms. Authorities have detained some students accused of being involved in the threats.

Locally and nationally, school administrators urge families to report any concerns they have about threats against schools.

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