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TikTok challenge causes concern nationally and locally; threats deemed “non-credible”

Schools by: Chrissy Ruggeri, December 17, 2021

A small police presence was spotted at Northport High School this morning, the day a TikTok challenge declared “National Shoot Up Your School Day.” The threats were deemed non-credible.

A nationwide TikTok “challenge” gone viral has caused concern among school employees, parents and students this week, as today, December 17, has been labeled “National Shoot Up Your School Day” on the social media platform popular with young people. The videos on TikTok are said to warn of school shootings and bomb threats.

In an email to the community sent yesterday, December 16, Superintendent of Schools Robert Banzer reiterated reports from Suffolk County officials that there were no credible threats to local schools, including to the Northport-East Northport School district, said Banzer.

“Districts across the country, including on Long Island, have been made aware of several disturbing Tik Tok posts threatening schools,” he wrote. “These threats have been thoroughly investigated both nationally and locally and were found to be non-credible. Most importantly, we are in contact with the Suffolk County Police Department and there is no specific threat against our district.”

A small police presence was spotted at Northport High School Friday morning and approaching the afternoon, while drop-offs at the elementary schools seemed routine. It was noted on social media however, that some parents chose to keep their children home out of an abundance of caution.

According to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, there have been 222 school shootings in 2021, which is over double the amount of shootings from 2019 and the worst year on record.