Local school districts working with law enforcement after national social media threat
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Eastern Iowa schools and law enforcement said they were aware of a national social media trend encouraging violent behavior.
The threat, which originated on TikTok, has been named “American School Shooting Day.”
“We saw the generic threat that came out nationwide,” said Joseph Brown, Interim-Superintendent of Clear Creek Amana Schools.
Brown has 30-years of education experience. He wasn’t aware of any threats to his school district but said he couldn’t comprehend why someone would encourage violence through social media. Especially, having lived through a school shooting himself when he was a principal of a South-Central Minnesota High School, LeSueur-Henderson in 1997. A student brought a gun into the school and shot an officer.
“I just take a deep breath and make a few prayers for the victims and wonder just how long our country is going to act like a third-world country,” Brown.
His district joined over 30 others across the Eastern Iowa area released their own message Thursday afternoon. The statement said law enforcement hadn’t found any evidence to deem the threats credible in our area but the Iowa State Education Association President, Mike Veranek said he’s heard of various threats throughout the week.
“I’m not sure if this threat is related to the threat tomorrow, but I have heard about threats throughout the week from Western Iowa, Central Iowa, and Eastern Iowa,” he said.
While the original post promoted violence, many of the posts condemned it. While local educators and law enforcement said they don’t see a credible threat, the school districts across the area were on high alert.
“After the Oxford shooting, I asked my seven principals across the seven schools to give me names of students that worried them,” said Brown. “No one has come forward so far. I can’t believe one person posted something on TikTok, and now probably every school district across the nation is reacting and being proactive.”
Law enforcement and Eastern Iowa school officials asked parents to talk with their children and if they see something, say something to law enforcement.
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