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Utah schools warn of viral TikTok shooting threat trend

Posted at 6:39 AM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 09:13:01-05

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — Local school districts are on high alert as violent threats against schools are up across the country. Including a threat that has gone viral on TikTok among school aged students.

UPDATE: Unconfirmed TikTok threats force extra security at most Utah schools Friday

FOX 13 first learned about the trend when a viewer sent us a picture from Facebook of what appears to be social media post with a threatening message.

Then, Tooele County schools sent out a warning to parents and students about the disturbing trend.

We have been made aware of another nation-wide trend, where students post a threat regarding gun violence in schools on social media. We believe it originated with TikTok, but it has been seen on Instagram and Facebook as well. The viral threat focuses on a shooting at a school on Friday, December 17. The original threat is believed to have started as a way for students to skip or be excused from school and has morphed into something much more disturbing.
Tooele County School District

The person who made the post sent to FOX 13 says they are tired of the bullying and will shoot up the school on Friday, December 17.

Similar threats are prompting school districts nationwide to respond.

Some parents tell FOX 13 they're concerned this specific threat is about Granger High School in the Granite School District in Salt Lake County.

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But, the Granite district says its police department and the state bureau of investigation have found no evidence that the "GHS" in the post is referring to Granger High School and they have not found credible proof of a threat. Officials believe "GHS" refers to a high school in Colorado or California.

Despite that, the district says they will have more police officers at Granger High and Olympus High over the next few days out of an abundance of caution.

PARENTS - We need your help. Please check your student’s smartphone device for any of the following social media platforms: Snapchat, Instagram or TikTok. We are looking for a user account on any of those platforms that goes by evil eye, serenity or yelizaveta. If you identify any of those user handles or postings sharing a threat, please contact Granite Police at (801) 481-7122 at any time.

This is an unfortunate reminder that many of our students are unable to responsibly use social media. We have seen multiple instances throughout our state of fake threats being posted in similar fashion to what we see this evening. These threats cause needless panic and concern for our students and their families. We respectfully request that if you are unable to monitor your child’s smartphone and social media use, that you restrict access to it. Schools and law enforcement do NOT have the ability to monitor thousands of student’s social media accounts. This is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.

The best security system we have continues to be the eyes and ears of our students who contact trusted adults when they see unsafe behavior or situations. Please remind your students that we need their help to keep our campus and community a safe place. They can anonymously report unsafe behavior using the SafeUT app on a mobile device or web, or contact our police department at (801) 481-7122 to report issues. As always, they can reach out to a teacher or administrator for help with any concerns.
Olympus High School Principal Jennifer Christensen

Public Information Officer for the Granite County School District Ben Horsely told FOX 13, the same post has been spreading at schools across the state "as far north as Ogden and down south to Utah county."

Horsely said there is an additional threat specific to Matheson Junior High that appears to have the same language as the viral post and they are investigating that on Thursday as well as stepping up security at that school.

Officials warned, students caught make violent threats can be prosecuted. Anyone with further information is asked to report to law enforcement and not repost or share the threats on social media.

Stay with FOX 13 on air and online for updates to this developing story.