American police authorities have made numerous arrests concerning the rumored TikTok School Shooting Challenge.
All of them were juveniles who reportedly took part by sharing threats anonymously or directly through social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Tiktok.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also addressed the rumored threats on Twitter:
"DHS is aware of public reporting that suggests possible threats to schools on December 17, 2021. DHS does not have any information indicating any specific, credible threats to schools but recommends communities remain alert."
Schools respond to "Tiktok Challenge" threat
Educational institutions are taking such threats very seriously, surfacing less than a month after Ethan Crumbley's Michigan school shooting that claimed four student lives. Many schools in danger (directly or indirectly) suspended classes on Friday, December 17.
Both school authorities and the police believe the threats to be non-credible. Nonetheless, security measures have been increased in and around the school premises.
The Scottsdale Unified School District had declared:
"You may notice an increased police presence on and around our campuses today and tomorrow."
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has confirmed that they have investigated around 140 of these copycat threats over the past two weeks. He commented:
"We'd rather check out 1,000 nothings than miss one real deal."
A continuous investigation is being conducted to get hold of the offenders. Police authorities are constantly in touch with Tiktok and other social media officials to filter out such threats.
According to Fox News, multiple arrests have been made in different parts of the country:
- Three 13-year-old males were arrested from Palm Coast, Frederick, and Naugatuck for sharing threats on social media.
- A 16-year-old male was arrested in Miramar for bringing a firearm onto school grounds.
- A 14-year-old was arrested from Wyoming for making threats on Instagram.
- Three teenagers in Florida were arrested for making shooting and bomb threats to schools on social media.
- Seven middle schoolers from Frisco, Texas, made similar threats regarding the Tiktok challenge.
- A juvenile arrest was made in South Carolina for making threats on Snapchat.
- Two students in Rhode Island were arrested for making similar threats.
Tiktok has spoken on the challenge through Twitter. However, they believe the challenge did not originate from the app. They posted:
The company also posted further updates in the comments thread, as seen above.