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TikTok school shooting posts raise concerns from local districts, police departments

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The Scotia-Glenville Central School District will be posting an officer outside of its middle and high school on arrival Friday morning following posts circulating on the popular social media app TikTok that suggest school shootings will take place nationally on Friday.

The post has also caught the attention of the Saratoga Springs City School District and the Niskayuna Central School District, which posted messages on their respective websites regarding the topic.

The Greater Amsterdam School District recently was subject to a pair of threats via social media that were ultimately determined to not be credible by law enforcement. Superintendent Richard Ruberti said in each instance those responsible were identified by police within roughly an hour and criminal charges were filed.

“We were very fortunate to have such a quick and supportive response from law enforcement. They handled the situation immediately and the people who made the comment were arrested,” Ruberti said.

Local law enforcement agencies are similarly taking seriously a TikTok video circulating nationwide threatening school violence. Although the video was determined by state police to be a resurfaced two-year-old video that has previously circulated and does not name any specific school, according to Ruberti.

Local law enforcement alerted area school administrators to the recirculating video that references Friday’s date and developed a plan to increase the presence of police at schools as a preventative safety measure.

“It’s a known threat that has gone around multiple times, but of course we are going to be taking everything seriously, being vigilant like we always are and having the resources there,” said Lt. Joseph Spencer, public information officer for the Amsterdam Police Department.

“Local law enforcement plans on having extra officers available at each building tomorrow as an increased presence although there is no credible threat. They are just supporting the district,” Ruberti said. “It’s disheartening to have to continue to react to these events online that make people fearful to send their kids to school. It is very unfortunate.”

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Districts noted that while the TikTok posts were not specifically related to their schools they wanted to be proactive.

“At this time, school will be conducted as normal tomorrow. Glenville PD will have an officer stationed outside the MS and HS during arrival to send a strong message that this type of behavior is inappropriate and will be taken seriously…but will not result in a school closure,” said Susan Swartz, the superintendent of Scotia-Glenville. “Elementary principals are aware of the posts and are monitoring their students for concerns.”

Saratoga police said conversations regarding school safety have been ongoing with the district and it will continue to monitor the situation.

Districts suggested parents and guardians speak to their kids about social media use.

“We encourage parents and guardians to speak with their children about the importance of remaining vigilant about threats and to speak up if they see or hear something,” states the message on the Saratoga City School District website. “In addition, please take this opportunity to talk with your student about the appropriate use of social media and the seriousness and resulting consequences of making any kind of threat.”

The posts circulating on social media come just over two weeks after a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan left four students dead.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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