Officials say social media threats to NH schools aren't credible

·3 min read

Dec. 16—School superintendents across New Hampshire are advising parents that state and local officials say there are no "credible threats" connected to nationwide social media posts hinting at violence occurring Friday.

Manchester Superintendent John Goldhardt wrote to families saying they are aware of the posts.

"We are in communication with the Manchester Police Department about these posts," writes Goldhardt. "There is no information at this time to suggest there is a credible threat at any of our schools. In fact, communities across the country are seeing these same posts pop up locally.

"This doesn't make it any less frightening, and we want to make several things clear. First, the school district and Manchester Police take these threats seriously. We are in regular communication, and are prepared to take action if and when it is needed. Second, if you see or hear something, say something. Do not assume that your student's school is aware of something — please report any sort of school-related threat to the school administration team, the school resource officer or the police department."

Superintendent Patricia Parenteau of SAU 34 — which serves Hillsboro, Deering, Washington and Windsor — sent a message to families saying the New Hampshire Information and Analysis Center provided information to the state's Department of Education, which shared it with local school districts.

"Messaging around these threats has been posted to social media and has gained the attention of law enforcement," writes Parenteau. "The NHIAC is not aware of any credible threats pertaining to any specific schools or locations. At this time, and unless we receive any additional information or directives from the state, all SAU 34 schools will operate as usual (Friday). We felt it was important to share the information we currently have, and we understand that each family ultimately decides what is best for their own students. Please know that the safety of all students and staff is our top priority."

Superintendent Adam Steel of SAU 39 — covering Amherst and Mont Vernon, along with Souhegan High School — said in a message to parents he is "not concerned in any way."

"From my understanding, this rumor is based on social media accounts that have a national following and are known for creating unfounded fear in our students," wrote Steel.

A number of districts said the reason was a social media message that popped up on TikTok.

An online search of "December 17" results in a list of videos with a vague implication of a threat.

No location is ever specified, but the videos are getting thousands of views and being shared across the country.

Concord School Superintendent Kathleen Murphy sent notice to each of the city's principals to heighten their awareness of the situation.

"The very last thing the district wants to do is create more anxiety than everyone is experiencing now, but I want to keep you informed should you hear rumors even though there is no specific information indicating that the online messages constitute a credible threat or is directed at our schools or community," said Murphy in a message to families and staff.

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