‘National Shoot Up Your School Day’: Viral TikTok Trend Sends School Districts Scrambling
School districts nationwide bolstered security following a viral TikTok trend called “National Shoot Up Your School Day,” encouraging students to “call in bomb threats, school shooting threats, etc.”
The vague, anonymous posts had many educators on edge after the deadly school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, which sparked an onslaught of copycat threats.
“We are writing to inform you and not alarm you,” Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, officials wrote in an email to parents. “We have been made aware of a nationwide viral TikTok trend about ‘school shooting and bomb threats for every school in the USA even elementary’ on Friday, December 17.”
Though administrators said they didn’t find the threats credible, several districts canceled classes altogether out of an abundance of caution.
“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,” the social media company wrote on Twitter.
The “Shoot Up Your School Day” challenge marks the latest entry in a disturbing trend, wherein students commit crimes to participate in a social media fad.
In September, students across the country posted videos of themselves vandalizing school bathrooms and stealing objects like stall doors and soap dispensers. The behavior was part of the “devious licks” challenge.
According to the Associated Press, the following month, “students were challenged to slap a teacher, prompting the National Education Association to call on the leaders of Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to intervene.”