Tazewell, Monroe County schools address TikTok rumors

·2 min read

Dec. 16—TAZEWELL, Va. — Rumors of a potential school threat in Tazewell County were the result of TikToK videos shared by some of the county's students, according to investigators.

"Since receiving reports regarding rumors of a potential school threat late (Wednesday) evening, we have worked with our local partners to find the source of the information, and to determine if there was a threat to our schools," according to a statement issued Thursday by the Tazewell Police Department.

"Based on the findings of investigators, we have determined that the rumors were a result of TikTok videos that were shared throughout some of our student population, with no threats being directed towards our schools in Tazewell County," according to investigators. "We have increased school security measures over the next two days out of an abundance of caution. Please take this time to talk with your student, and educate them about appropriate use of social media, and encourage them to share any threats or anything that could be associated with a threat with a school official or a parent."

Monroe County schools will also see more police today, but because of national TikTok rumors.

Schools Superintendent Joetta Basile said in a statement TikTok "challenges" have been seen across the country throughout the school year, with the latest one relating to rumors spread about school violence across the nation that could happen today.

Basile said this did not originate locally, but appears to be a nationwide issue.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously," she said. "However, there are no known threats regarding this event in the state of West Virginia or Monroe County Schools."

Basile said that, as a precaution, the school system has contacted the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia State Police, so an "increased police presence" will be seen in schools today.

"This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to monitor children's social media activities and speak with them about proper behavior online," she said. "Even if they are not credible threats, posts of this nature can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families and staff, as well as severe consequences for the individual who made the post. We ask our families to monitor their children's social media activity."

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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