DC-Area Schools Say Threats Reported on Social Media Are Not Credible

What to know about a school violence threat that's been linked to TikTok

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What to Know

  • Schools are informing parents about potential threats that have been circulating on social media regarding violence at schools.
  • So far, officials say there’s nothing credible about the threats.
  • Some D.C.-area school districts are stepping up security.

Schools across the country and in the Washington, D.C. area, along with the FBI, say they are aware of threats of school violence circulating on social media.

So far, officials say there’s nothing credible about the threats.

The Maryland Center for School Safety says there have been copycat threats nationwide.

“Currently, we are unaware of any credible threats,” the center said.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) says online threats were made to schools in Maryland and other parts of the country. The messages referenced bomb threats and school shootings for Friday, Dec. 17, MCPS said.

“MCPS and MCPD will continue to monitor social media and will actively investigate any specific threat in our community,” the school said.

Prince William County Public Schools told families that there are no specific known threats to the district, but there may be an increased security presence around schools as a precaution.

Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland said it was also aware of the threats and that they weren’t credible.

However, a 13-year-old student at Frederick County Public Schools did admit to making a "joke" threat via a fake social media account, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said. Additional deputies are set to patrol schools.

“We are appreciative of students, staff and families making us aware of any threat,” the school said in a letter. “If you see or hear something that is concerning, please say something to your school administrators.”

Calvert County Public Schools asked families to have a conversation with students about their concerns and the seriousness of making threats or spreading misinformation on social media.

Alexandria Public Schools said it's been in contact with the police department and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Fairfax County Public Schools said the district is not dealing with any credible threats, but officials always thoroughly investigate threats.

The exact origin of the threat wasn’t immediately clear. Some school districts, including Calvert County Public Schools, referenced a post on TikTok.

Neither D.C. Public Schools nor Prince George's County Public Schools immediately responded to a request for comment.

In a statement to NBC News, TikTok said:

"We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we're working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok."

Anyone concerned about a school threat can contact their local police department or school officials. Anonymous tips can be submitted to the Maryland Center for School Safety at 1-833-MD-B-SAFE or http://safeschoolsmd.org.

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