School districts take precautions in response to social media posts

School districts take precautions in response to social media posts

4:37pm Dec 17, 2021
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is one of many districts across the state that sent emails to parents to address social media posts and rumors circulating locally, and across the country, alleging violence on school campuses on Friday. KERI BROWN/WFDD

School districts across the country sent out messages Friday responding to social media posts allegedly warning of school violence.

The anonymous posts circulating online warned that multiple schools would receive shooting and bomb threats. It’s unclear where the messages originated.

Some reports have said TikTok. The company responded on Twitter saying that it’s working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools and has not found evidence that the threats began or spread on the platform.

Local authorities say the threats weren’t credible or specific. But many school districts across the state took extra security precautions on Friday and sent emails to parents to inform them of social media posts circulating. This includes Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools where a recent fatal school shooting still has people on edge.

Andy Hagler is the executive director of the Mental Health Association in Forsyth County. He says it's important to validate feelings of stress and anxiety and to create a safe place to share them.

“Keep the dialogue going for school safety even after media attention has subsided," he says. "Have kids talk about their feelings and have them discuss ways to and glean ideas on them on how to make schools safer.” 

Hagler says if anyone in the community sees an alarming post or threat on social media, rather than sharing it, report it to local law enforcement and school officials.

Follow WFDD's  Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.

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