Police and educators on Long Island are taking added precautions Friday following a string of social media posts on the app TikTok claiming there will be a nationwide school shooting, although authorities say it’s a hoax.
Nassau and Suffolk county police are stepping up patrols at schools across the region just in case. School officials say they’re working with authorities to keep kids safe out of an abundance of caution.
“Please stop reposting,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told reporters during a news conference about the trend. “Call 911.”
The trending topic is not limited to LI, with schools across New York State and the nation also taking caution.
“The Suffolk County Police Department is monitoring social media threats that have been shared on TikTok,” the department said in a statement. “The threat is not specific to Suffolk County and at this time, the threat does not appear to be credible. Suffolk County Police Officers will be on heightened awareness due to these posts and we are urging everyone to report suspicious activity by calling 911.”
The viral threat comes after similar hoaxes recently sparked scares at other local schools.
“We are taking this matter with the utmost seriousness,” said Richard Leschner, superintendent of the Brentwood School District. “We, along with several other school districts throughout Long Island, have contacted local law enforcement and are cooperating as the conduct investigations. These threats are also being investigated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security and are believed to be a hoax.”
Police and school officials said parents should use the hoax as an opportunity to talk to their children about the dangers of posting reckless messages on social media.