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Utah students charged for encouraging 'bring your gun to school' TikTok trend

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Posted at 9:22 PM, Dec 21, 2021

ROOSEVELT, Utah — Three students have been charged with felonies for participating in a social media trend last week that involved encouraging or joking about bringing weapons to school.

The Roosevelt Police Department (Duchesne County) announced Tuesday that they investigated reports of students talking about "school violence" through social media or text messages.

READ: Unconfirmed TikTok threats force extra security at most Utah schools

Police determined that there was no actual threat, and no guns were taken to any schools in Roosevelt.

"The only senseless act that was committed was the sharing of, and comments in support of this act," the announcement from Roosevelt Police Chief Mark J. Watkins read.

Three students are now charged for participating in the "senseless act of sharing, commenting, and or encouraging school violence," Watkins wrote. It was not stated what exact charges they will face or whether they are minors. Names of underage crime suspects are generally not released publicly unless they are being tried in court as an adult.

"The Roosevelt Police Department will have zero tolerance for such acts and will continue to monitor and aggressively follow up on posts or verbal comments made by individuals if they promote and or encourage this kind of behavior," Tuesday's announcement continued. "I would encourage all parents to talk to their kids about this type of behavior and its consequences as well as, monitor their child's texting and social media activities. If questionable texts or posts are found by parents and then brought to RPD's attention, we will work with those who step up with information."

"Our children deserve to have a safe worry-free school environment and we are dedicated to the preservation of school safety in all our schools in our city," Watkins added.

The trend, mostly circulating around the TikTok app, was blamed for a sudden increase in students threatening, joking about, or even bringing a gun to school last week. Multiple schools and school districts across the state decided to close, pivot to remote learning, and even go on lockdown in some cases.