Amid viral TikTok threats of school violence, Citrus County schools ask students to 'report, don't repost'

The Citrus County School District is addressing a viral TikTok trend threatening violence at schools across the country, asking students and parents to report threats to law enforcement rather than reposting them online.

The threats on the social media platform specifically mention school violence on Friday, Dec. 17.

Administrators with Citrus County Schools sent out a message to parents and students on Thursday, addressing disruptions at schools throughout the district as a result of the social media posts.

"It seems students, along with parents, are either sharing a post or manipulating the original post to reflect a new threat at a specific school," district officials said. "Because of this, many of our schools are being inundated with parent calls this morning asking about these latest threats and their validity."

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Both the school district and the Citrus County Sheriff's Office say they have not received any indication of credible threats to any schools.

They said their critical alert system was activated at Crystal River High School Thursday morning due to a medical emergency involving a student.

"This activation had nothing to do with a threat of any kind," the school district said, but added, "the medical alert at CRHS created a heightened sense of concern at all of our schools."

Officials asked students and parents not to repost possible threats on social media, which could create further disruption. Instead, they asked anyone with information on a specific threat to report it to law enforcement immediately.

Citrus County Schools will be in session on Friday, the district said.

Both the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and the Hernando County School District echoed the plea to not share any social media posts that threaten schools or individuals.

"Sharing unfounded threats on social media rewards those who intend to create panic and can divert tremendous resources away from law enforcement and the school district," Hernando school administrators said. "If you see or hear something, say something. Alert law enforcement right away. But please don't post."

TikTok addressed the threats on their platform in a tweet Thursday afternoon, writing, "We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we're working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok."