1 student charged, 6 disciplined in Citrus County Schools social media threat

Citrus County

FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 filer, a logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Citrus County School District announced that they were aware of a TikTok threat circulating on social media this week. Officials said the origins of the threat were unknown but that the threat was said to be occurring on Friday, Dec. 17. Now, one student has been charged and six others disciplined.

The social media threat against Citrus County Schools is just one of multiple threats made against Tampa Bay school districts in the past week.

Security was increased at Hudson High School in Pasco County on Monday after an unsubstantiated threat against the school, and there was a shooting threat at Sarasota High School last Tuesday.

The threats are part of a national trend, prompting law enforcement and schools nationwide to prepare, even though so far the threats have appeared unfounded.

In a statement to parents and users, TikTok said they take all threats seriously and are working with law enforcement into warnings about potential violence, even when evidence doesn’t suggest the threats are originating, or spread, on the popular platform.

On Wednesday, Citrus County schools announced they were monitoring online threats made on TikTok along with the national trend.

“As we always do, along with our partners at the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, we will continue to closely monitor social media and will follow up on any threat that is brought to our attention,” the district wrote in a Facebook post yesterday.

In their announcement today, the Citrus County School District said a student had been charged with making the threat, following the recent “wave of social media shooting threats.”

As the student is a juvenile, they have not been named. Six other students have reportedly been disciplined. School officials are working with their partners at the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on investigations “that could lead to more arrests,” according to the district’s social media accounts.

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