CONWAY, Ark – A new social media trend circulating on Tik Tok is asking students to call in shooting or bomb threats to school.
The Conway Public School District says they have had two threats at their middle schools just this week.
“One in a year is a lot for me but to see a string of these within a week, two to three within a week, that tells you there is definitely something going on,” said Conway Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Collum.
Collum is linking this week’s threats to the new social media trend. He says the consequences can begin with a simple click of a button.
“It’s concerning social media has that much influence on a child that make that can make that kind of decision within less than 10 seconds but not realize the long term consequences that they could have to deal with for the remainder of their lives,” said Collum.
The district says they handled the threats just like they would any other, ensuring the safety of its students and staff. Conway Police are investigating both threats and have arrested two juveniles in connection to the threats.
Collum says he is worried students don’t realize the implications of their actions.
“They’re creating a very difficult road for them to have to navigate if these charges begin to come at them,” Collum said.
Our station reached out to the FBI who deals with what they are calling ‘Hoax Threats’. They say these types of threats are considered federal crimes and could result in up to five years in prison.
The district is now calling on parents to discuss the severity of these threats.
“You need to be having discussions with your kids about what they’re posting on social media, you’ve got to know what they’re doing on Tik Tok, Instagram, and Snap Chat,” Collum said.
Collum says it’s time to stop the trend in its tracks.
“I don’t want to see this escalate to someone feels like they have to do more,” Collum said.
The school district says they have increased patrol on campuses to ensure safety for students and staff.
The Monticello School District reported a similar threat this week. At this time, it is unknown if it is connected to the social media trend.