FRAMINGHAM – On Thursday night, Framingham Public School district, along with multiple school districts in MetroWest, Massachusetts, and across America, put out an alert that there was a “vague” threat on TikTok, and due to the threat there would be an increase of police at the schools on Friday, December 17.
Many parents kept their kids home from school on Friday, SOURCE has learned.
The digital news media outlet requested the absent percentage for each of the schools in the district.
Superintendent Bob Tremblay provided the data on Saturday night, December 18.
|SCHOOL||% OF STUDENTS ABSENT Friday, December 17|
Editor’s note: It unknown what percent of the students absent on Friday were related to the TikTok post. Some could have been absent due to the “surge” in covid-19 cases in the district, and winter colds and flu, or a host of other reasons near the holidays.
Either way, the numbers at almost all of the schools was 30% or higher absent, which is unusually high.
The only school below 30% was BLOCKS preschool which still had 1 out of every 4 students absent.
“Yes. Disappointing absenteeism, but not entirely surprising given that this seems to have been the case across the country,” said Supt. Tremblay to SOURCE.
Framingham Public Schools and other school districts told parents on Thursday night that a “troubling social media post circulating nationwide” that threatened “an act of violence on December 17” “for every school in the USA, even elementary.”
“The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from other school districts that the same post is circulating in their schools,” said Superintendent Tremblay, on Thursday night.
Framingham Public Schools did not received any targeted threats.
The threat, or “challenge,” as some have referred to it, reportedly calls on students to commit acts of violence on Dec. 17.
One threat called December 17, “National Shoot Up Your School Day,” but it did not specific a school or school district.
“Out of an abundance of caution the district is working closely with the Framingham Police Department. Though we do not believe this to be a credible threat, we are monitoring the situation closely and taking it seriously,” said Supt. Tremblay in an email to families on Thursday night.
“This situation serves as an example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to speak with their children and monitor their social media activity, especially on Snapchat and TikTok, where rumors about potential episodes of school violence are typically shared,” said Tremblay on Thursday.