Reports of shots being fired at a South Carolina high school were fake and part of a TikTok challenge, police have said.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department responded to Blythewood High School around 10.25am after receiving calls from an individual claiming there was an active shooter on school grounds, News19 reported. Authorities secured and canvassed the area but ultimately determined there was no threat.
Richland School District Two Superintendent Dr Baron Davis said the call was prompted by a TikTok challenge. Nobody was injured and there were no shots fired during the incident, but students were visibly shaken and were picked up by parents after the hoax, said
“Even though it was fake, the emotions were real and the fear they felt was real,” Mr Dvais said at a press conference after the incident. “I’m heartbroken that people continue to take this as a joke and continue to put our students and our employees in harm’s way for whatever reason.”
Law enforcement plants to prepare for potential additional hoax calls made in the near future, Sheriff Leon Lott said.
The school released a statement following the ordeal.
“This morning law enforcement responded to a call from an unknown caller that shots had been fired on the Blythewood High School campus. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department responded immediately,” it read.
“The school was placed on lockdown while law enforcement searched the building. RCSD has determined the call was one of three hoax calls made to South Carolina schools this morning. There is no evidence of any gunfire or injuries at the school.”
In recent days, several schools across the country have been placed on “soft” lockdowns after threats of shootings have been made on TikTok, raising alarm about the growing trend. On Tuesday, a 16-year-old posted on TikTok that he was going to shoot a school in an Alaska school district, KBBI reported.
KXLY also reports that in Sandpoint, Idaho, a student was criminally charged after he made similar threats this week on the social media platform.