A concerning social media trend encouraging people to call in bomb threats and school shootings across the country Friday, Dec. 17, specifically on the TikTok platform, has been discovered by state and federal threat assessment agencies. Waldo County school districts are working with law enforcement to monitor the threats.

In a Dec. 16 message to his district, Charles Brown, superintendent of Regional School Unit 3, said while there is no credible threat to the district, RSU 3 is working with Waldo County Sheriff’s office to increase law enforcement presence in schools.

The TikTok posts, Brown said, originated outside the district, but he asked parents to be vigilant in reporting anything concerning  to school or law enforcement officials immediately. Brown also encouraged parents to monitor their students’ online interactions and talk with their children about the dangers of engaging in these behaviors.

“We take these threats seriously,” Brown said. “Anyone engaged in making threats against schools will face legal action.”

Waldo County Chief Deputy Jason Trundy said in a prepared statement that “the Sheriff’s Office has a well-established longstanding relationship with the staff of RSU 3. The Sheriff’s Office and RSU 3 place the safety and security of our students and school staff as a top priority.

“When we were made aware of the TikTok challenge, we coordinated with our partners at RSU 3 to increase our presence at the Mt. View complex and surrounding schools. We credit our partnership with RSU 3 and the open lines of communication between our organizations with our ability to quickly respond to this type of community need.”

Superintendents in Belfast and Searsport have also alerted local law enforcement to the threat. In her weekly email update to the Regional School Unit 71 community, Superintendent Mary Alice McLean said robo messages were sent to all families to let them know the district is aware of the national TikTok challenge for students to bring guns to school today and to call in bomb threats.

“While no direct threat has been made to our state, county, district, or schools, we have nevertheless increased the presence of law enforcement for our schools and put other safety measures in place,” McLean said.

Superintendent Chris Downing of Regional School Unit 20 said he found about the threat yesterday when the Maine Department of Education sent a notice. Downing said his district is being diligent with their resource officer and the connections that he has with the Searsport Police Department.

“It’s frustrating, as an educator,” dealing with these threats, on top of everything else, he said.

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