REGION – Local school districts and police departments are on high alert following what Worcester County Attorney’s Office Joseph Early calls “a viral social media trend” which presented “warnings regarding a threat to schools “, December 17th.
“While the posts are alarming, they appear to be part of a national trend and are not specific to any school district,” Early’s office wrote on Facebook.
In an email to parents, Northborough and Southborough Public Schools Superintendent Greg Martineau said the district was aware of “rumors / threats circulating on social media, particularly TikTok, regarding December 17 as “National school day”, threats of shooting, bomb threats, another act of violence.
He said Northborough and Southborough Police were aware of the social media activity. Directors have been briefed and will follow the situation closely, he said.
âEnsuring that Northborough and Southborough Public Schools are a safe place for our students and staff remains a top priority,â said Martineau.
Several local police departments also weighed in on Thursday, saying there would be a police presence in schools the next day. Southborough Police have specifically said they will be carrying out additional patrols throughout the day.
However, there was no specific threat to schools in the area, the police reiterated in their various statements.
âThe Shrewsbury Police Department takes every threat seriously and will deal with them accordingly,â Shrewsbury Police wrote. âKeeping our students and professors safe will remain our top priority tomorrow and every day. ”
Shrewsbury Superintendent Joseph Sawyer made a separate statement shared by Shrewsbury Police. He wrote that some students at Shrewsbury saw the messages and “expressed concern about going to school.”
âYou may have seen news of a social media trend, primarily on TikTok, where there are general threats against school violence tomorrow,â Sawyer said. “These general threats have been posted across the United States and some apparent copy messages have been posted regarding specific schools.”
He also said there had been no specific threat to the schools in Shrewsbury and said the schools were in communication with the Shrewsbury Police Department.
Sawyer said the posts “seek to instill fear and anxiety” and are not credible.
“I am confident in the safety and security of our schools, and I ask parents to reassure their children if they are concerned,” Sawyer said. “I am very sorry that this social media issue has raised concerns among some of our students, and I hope that reports that authorities have identified this as an unspecific national social media trend that is not credible. will be useful to you. ”
In Marlborough, officers encouraged students and community members to report anything they found suspicious or potentially dangerous.
âAs a community we need to work together to keep all members safe, and we remind everyone that ‘if you see something say something,’â Marlborough Police said on Facebook.
It’s an ongoing story. It will be updated with any additional information that becomes available …