TikTok threats of school violence prompt increased law enforcement presence

Renaissance Charter School near West Palm Beach briefly placed on lockdown
Posted at 3:55 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 17:16:50-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Students, parents and school staff continue to be unsettled by a new social media trend on TikTok, which has prompted an increased police presence on campuses.

From Palm Beach County to the Treasure Coast, more law enforcement was present outside schools Friday.

A viral TikTok video warned that Dec. 17 would be a day for school violence, shootings and bomb threats.

At Renaissance Charter School's campus on Summit Boulevard near West Palm Beach, a code red lockdown occurred Friday after a call of an active shooting. It turned out to be a false alarm with school officials saying it was from the TikTok challenges.

Palm Beach County school administrators said they were ready to respond to threats. The district said they take each threat directed toward schools and members of school communities very seriously.

School administrators in Martin County said they are aware of the social media posts and the sheriff's office is offering increased support at schools out of an abundance of caution.

In St. Lucie County, vigilance and a large law enforcement presence in occurring at schools. Earlier this week, a student at Lincoln Park Academy reported a threat written on a bathroom wall.

More campus monitoring, along with an additional law enforcement present, is occurring at schools in Indian River County.

School district heads across South Florida and the Treasure Coast say threats against schools may result in expulsion or worse since it is a second-degree felony in Florida.