D211 administration responds to nationwide TikTok school threats
In response to a nationwide TikTok trend threatening violence in schools on Friday, Dec. 17, District 211 declared a Level Yellow Alert on Dec. 16 at 4:20 p.m.
D211 Superintendent Lisa Small issued the following statement via D211’s Communications email alert system:
District 211 Staff, Parents, Guardians, and Students:
Like many schools across the country, we learned of a post circulating on TikTok threatening nationwide violence to schools on Friday, December 17, 2021. The original post is not directed at any particular school and is being shared throughout the country. There is absolutely no reference to District 211, our schools, or our community. However, the safety of our students and staff is always a priority, and we take every threat, no matter how vague or unsubstantiated, extremely seriously. We are in regular contact with our local law enforcement. As a precaution and to reassure our entire learning community, there will be an increased police presence in the area of each District 211 school tomorrow, December 17th . Although the threat is not directly related to District 211 schools, we understand that students may want additional support, and we will have counselors and social workers available throughout the day. The administration and police departments will continue to monitor social media. We constantly encourage our students to report to a trusted adult if they see or hear anything – either in person or on social media – that concerns them. Today is no different. We also provide safety forms, available here, and encourage students to report concerning behaviors or problems online or through the student’s iPad safety app. Working together, we can continue to foster a safe and productive learning community.
According to the D211 website, “A Level Yellow communication will include information about an incident that has taken place in or near a District 211 school that warrants attention and awareness, and which officials have concluded poses no threat to the school… Within Level Yellow, the police have concluded that no direct threat exists to students or people inside the school.”
Schools nationwide have announced plans to increase security presence or cancelled classes due to TikTok posts warning of shooting and bomb threats at schools across the country. Other Chicago area schools have also implemented similar precautionary measures, though school and law enforcement officials around the country have said that there is no evidence to substantiate that the threats are credible.
However, educators and community members remain on edge as the threats circulate amidst the aftermath of the recent school shooting in Michigan. The posts follow a disturbing trend of TikTok challenges encouraging students to engage in illicit behavior. In September, teens nationwide vandalized school bathrooms and property as part of the “Devious Licks” challenge.
For official updates from the district, please visit the District 211 website.