Oldham County Schools warns community of new TikTok challenge

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:00 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Oldham County Schools is warning the community of a new social media trend that’s considered threatening and could have serious consequences.

Officials said there have been incidents of students taking part in a TikTok “challenge” that encourages them to get a video of themselves telling the teacher there’s a bomb or gun in their backpack.

OCS has shared that some students have done this and those who do participate could not only face school-level discipline but could also be prosecuted.

The school district sent a letter out which says:

“Dear OCS Community,

Oldham County Schools has become aware of a new “challenge” on the social media platform TikTok which encourages students to video themselves telling a teacher that there is a bomb and/or gun in their backpack. Unfortunately, there have been three incidents across the district where students have participated in this trend.

As previously communicated in a letter to families regarding terroristic threatening, students who participate in this type of behavior face serious consequences. In addition to school-level discipline, students are prosecuted to the greatest extent of the law for making a threat to a public school.

Please speak with your children about the serious consequences of making threats.

Whether written or spoken, all threats are taken seriously and students need to know the repercussions of these actions, both short and long term. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online. And as always, encourage your children to ‘See Something/Say Something’ if they witness anyone threatening violence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school administration.”