With schools across the nation on heightened alert because of a vague, viral social-media threat of on-campus violence, Los Angeles Unified schools and other area districts were open Friday — with LAUSD saying “there is no reason to believe our schools are in any danger.”
“The safety and well-being of our students and employees is of utmost importance,” the school district said Thursday night in a statement. “In recent days we have become aware of various threats of violence toward our schools.
“While there is no reason to believe our schools are in any danger, please know we take all such threats very seriously and take any action necessary to ensure the continued safety of our school communities.
“Our school administrators work with school site staff, Los Angeles School Police and local and federal school officials — where warranted — to ensure that all threats are fully investigated and handled appropriately.
“We also encourage employees, students and families to follow Los Angeles Unified’s message, `if you see something, say something.”’
The statement came amid a viral threat on the social-media platform TikTok warning of nationwide on-campus violence — which authorities have characterized as non-credible.
Still, some school districts around the country, ranging from Minnesota to Texas, shut down Friday, reports said.
No other area districts reported closures, but the threats were acknowledged and taken seriously by school officials and law enforcement across the region.
The FBI’s Los Angeles office said it was not aware of any known credible threats to schools in the region, and a Los Angeles Police Department detective told ABC7 the department was unaware of any specific local threats.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also said Friday it has no evidence of credible threats — but urged the public to “remain alert.”
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station tweeted that it was “aware” of the nationwide threat against schools and that “at this time no credible threats have been identified, nor are any threats specified to schools in the Santa Clarita Valley. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station will continue to monitor the situation & will be providing additional patrol checks throughout schools.”
Long Beach Unified sent a note to parents saying, “LBUSD and local law enforcement are aware of an anonymous general threat communicated through TikTok and social media against schools nationwide, identifying Friday, December 17, 2021, as `National School Shooting Day.”
“State and local law enforcement officers have investigated the threat, did not find any specific links to Long Beach Unified School District, and have determined the threat is not credible,” the LBUSD said. “Local law enforcement continues to work with our district to support the safety of our students and staff.”
The LAUSD, meanwhile, also urged parents to warn their children about responsible use of social media.
“Please take time to talk to you child about the appropriate use of social media, and to remind them that their actions and words have consequences,” the district said.
Meanwhile, a teenage boy was in custody in Corona Friday on suspicion of posting threats of violence directed at his Corona middle school.
The 14-year-old was taken into custody at his home Wednesday by school resource officers assigned to area high schools after a student at Auburndale Intermediate School reported receiving a threat on social media regarding a possible attack at the school on Thursday, said Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis, a police department spokesman.
Kouroubacalis said the boy’s parents were cooperative and no weapons were found at the home. The teen was taken to the Riverside County Juvenile Hall.
In Irvine, officials reported confiscating a toy gun from a student on Friday.
“IPD and IUSD received a report of a student showing a firearm to other students at South Lake MS,” Irvine police tweeted at 10:59 a.m. “School staff contacted the student and recovered an airsoft toy gun. A lockdown was issued initially but has since been lifted. There is no threat to our campuses.”