Fayette County Schools warns against potential school threat challenge on social media

The school district is advising parents and students about a potential TikTok prank on Friday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County Public Schools sent out a notice to families Thursday evening advising parents, guardians and students about a potential TikTok challenge designed to encourage students to make violent threats against schools on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.

The district says thus far, it’s not aware of any threats or social media postings directed at any public schools in Fayette County, but reminds everyone the seriousness of making a threat against a school and the serious consequences that go along with it.

In the letter, the district urged parents to talk to their children about the situation and to make the school system aware of any concerning social media posts by contacting a school principal or the FCPS Police Department at 859-381-4200, 24-hours a day.

The district says it is closely monitoring social media and working closely with the school system’s law enforcement department and Lexington Police in connection with this social media prank.

To view the school district’s annual notification about threats against schools, click here.

Below is the letter sent to families by FCPS Superintendent Demetrus Liggins:

FCPS Families:

As you may have seen on national news reports, educators and law enforcement officials across the country have issued warnings about a possible social media challenge encouraging individuals to post threats against schools as a prank on Friday, Dec. 17. Although we are unaware of any such postings involving Fayette County Public Schools, this trend is receiving significant attention in the national news media as well as social media sites.

Attached to this email is our annual notification about threats against schools. Please help us at home by talking with your student and making us aware of any concerning posts they may have seen. If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to the principal at your child’s school or the FCPS Police Department, which can be reached 24 hours a day at 859-381-4200.

It is important for our students to understand that their words matter, and their actions online can have serious consequences both at school and in the legal system. We live in a day and age where every threat is investigated; things they may think are funny can easily escalate into serious issues. As we prepare our students to excel in a global society, helping them develop responsible online habits is critical.

Please be assured that we have taken and will continue to take all necessary steps to safeguard our students, employees, and campuses. At this time, we are closely watching social media and working with our FCPS Police Department as well as the Lexington Police Department about this social media prank.

Fayette County Public Schools has wonderful students, tremendous employees, and incredible families. Working together, we can make the last day of school before winter break a great one.

Warm regards,

-DL

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