Local schools are making parents and staff aware of a national TikTok trend that is threatening violence at schools across the country this Friday.
According to reports, the viral threat allegedly focuses on school shootings.
Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) announced Thursday that they are aware of the the TikTok challenge and say there is no direct threat to any of the district's schools.
According to the Elmbrook School District, the Brookfield Police Department and school resource officers are aware of the threat and continue to assess any potential impact on the schools. However, the district says the threats do not target any specific school or community, and have circulated across the country.
The district said there will be an increased police presence at its schools on Friday to ensure safety.
Menomonee Falls Police Department is also stepping up its patrols Friday due to the national threat. The School District of Menomonee Falls also sent out a message to families and staff saying they are aware of the post that is being shared widely.
"The post refers to a threat to school safety 'for every school in the USA, even elementary,' on Friday, December 17," the district said.
The post did not originate in either school district.
"We have heard reports from other districts that the same post is circulating in their schools," the School District of Menomonee Falls said. "While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and are taking it seriously."
The Hartland Lakeside School District informed families and staff members Thursday. The district said they also might have an increased police presence in its buildings Friday.
"Social media threats, even if not credible, can cause stress and anxiety for students, families, and staff. If your child is on TikTok, we ask that you discuss this viral trend and emphasize appropriate online behaviors," Superintendent Nancy Nikolay said in a message.
Cedarburg School District also sent out a similar message.
The Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) and Sheboygan Police Department are also aware of the social media post on TikTok. Similar to other districts, police say there is no information suggesting a specific threat against or within SASD/
School districts are encouraging students, staff, and families to say something whenever they see something troubling or potentially harmful.
"There have been many examples in the past when our students have done the right thing and notified school personnel of concerns and this latest threat is no different," the Elmbrook School District said in a letter to families and staff. "We are proud of our students’ investment in their school culture as we all work together to keep our schools safe. We encourage all families to talk about how a child should respond to any threat or concern, regardless of the source or legitimacy. If a student is not comfortable going to an adult directly, they can use Wisconsin’s SpeakUp, Speak Out app [track.spe.schoolmessenger.com] that will notify a school administrator and/or police authorities immediately."
This is a developing story and will be updated.