The rumors circulating on social media proclaimed Friday Dec. 17, as the grisly "National School Shooting Day."
Due to the continued incidence of student-perpetrated school shootings around the U.S., school officials nationwide went to heightened alert on Friday in reaction to an unspecified threat of on-campus violence that was proved to be faux by the authority later.
The rumors circulating on social media proclaimed Dec. 17, as the grisly "National School Shooting Day." The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), responded quickly, said that "in recent days we have become aware of various threats of violence towards our schools. The safety and well-being of our students and employees is of utmost importance."
"While there is no reason to believe our schools are in danger, please know we take all such threats very seriously and take any action necessary to ensure the continued safety of our school communities," said LAUSD, which is the largest public school system in California and the second largest school district in the U.S. with over 730,000 students and employees.
"State and local law enforcement officers have investigated the threat, did not find any specific links to Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), and have determined the threat is not credible. Local law enforcement continues to work with our district to support the safety of our students and staff," a LBUSD spokesperson said.
Communities across the US are responding to a TikTok message threatening school violence. This message from Sheriff Rosie Rivera in 2018 is as relevant now as it was then. If you are aware of any threats report them. Together we can keep our schools safe.#saltlakecountycares pic.twitter.com/CQSnMWat8e— Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office (@SLCOMetroJail) December 17, 2021
Santa Clarita School District near LA also admitted to being "aware" of the supposed threat against schools and confirmed to media that, "at this time, no credible threats have been identified, nor are any threats specified to schools in the Santa Clarita Valley." However, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station assigned additional patrol checks throughout schools.
With this rumor circulating just weeks after a fatal school shooting in Michigan, some school districts in other states around the country are reported to have responded more vigorously to the rumored threat, prompting early school shutdowns on Friday in areas in Texas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, central New York, and Connecticut.
The country's four largest school districts - New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami did not shut down. The scare is reputed to have begun on some social media platforms, with a warning that a nationwide campaign of on-campus gun violence would start on Friday, but an unnamed source on one of the platforms discounted that assertion as only a rumor.
The Department of Homeland Security also announced it has no evidence of credible threats - but urged the public to "remain alert." Or, as in the words of LAUSD's key policy regarding suspicious behavior or potential student threats, "If you see something, say something."