Last month, schools across the country were cautioning against a viral TikTok video that promoted bringing guns to school. This TikTok challenge advocated for gun violence on school campuses across the nation and the video had several school districts trying to determine whether it posed a real threat.
Right before Winter Break, districts were scrambling to communicate with parents about the challenge. Many parents around the country received letters from their school district about possible threats. Schools urged parents to talk to their children about social media and the seriousness of these threats. The California Department of Education (CDE) was also aware of the threats being made on the social media channel TikTok and they asked schools to “be vigilant and to contact their local agencies if they have any concerns.” Additionally, the state advised schools to have counselors available for students who might want to come forward and speak to someone.
TikTok also took these videos promoting gun violence seriously, claiming they did not originate or spread via their app. TikTok released statements on Twitter with updates around the issue.
The TikTok challenge was set for December 17th, 2021. However, it did not come to fruition. It’s possible that taking this challenge seriously thwarted any dangerous activity.
While these threats should be taken seriously, most individuals who commit these acts on school campuses don’t always broadcast it beforehand. We should, however, always remain vigilant. If you or your children come in contact with someone who is posting threats against schools or students on social media, please report it to the authorities. You could save a life.
Events like these remind us that we cannot ignore the power of social media and the influence social media has on our kids. Comadres, how have you talked to your children about staying safe on social media and reporting dangerous activity they see on these apps?
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