Schools across Puget Sound region on high alert over threat from viral TikTok post
Schools across Washington are on high alert Friday over a viral social media post on TikTok levying threats against districts across the United States.
The post calls on students to bring weapons to schools on Friday, and while local law enforcement says they believe there is no credible threat in Western Washington, officials remain vigilant.
As a result of the threats, Tacoma Public Schools will be in a “modified lockdown” on Friday, where exterior doors will be locked while classes are in session. Puyallup schools say they are “closely monitoring the situation with law enforcement partners,” but will not be locked down.
Other schools and districts are handling the situation on a case-by-case basis. That includes Bothell High School, which had already canceled classes Friday over a threatening graffiti message from earlier this week. A separate previous threat had Seattle’s Franklin High School closed on Wednesday. After half of the school’s staff called in sick, classes were canceled the following day as well, but it will reopen Friday.
Cleveland High School in Seattle is also closed on Friday “due to a shortage of critical teaching staff.”
For the moment, Seattle Public Schools plans to “have the normal resumption of classes,” spokesperson Tim Robinson told KIRO Radio, but the district will still “respond appropriately to any direct threats towards any of our schools.”
Parents, students, and teachers are being told to report any other potential threats to law enforcement in the meantime.
Schools in several other states are similarly ramping up security on Friday, including Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania, all of which will be adding an increased police presence “out of an abundance of caution.”
This all comes in the wake of a surge in threats to schools across the Puget Sound region. In early December, police arrested a 13-year-old student for allegedly threatening to open fire on Whitman Middle School in North Seattle. A 14-year-old was arrested around that same time for a social media post threatening three schools in the Mukilteo School District.
KIRO 7 TV staff contributed to this report.