CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — The Citrus County School District says it has arrested one student and disciplined six others in connection to school shooting threats circulating on social media.
The district, along with schools across the country, has been stepping up security in response to non-specific threats that have gone viral on social media and appear to have originated on TikTok.
The nationwide social media threats seem to have begun as a viral TikTok challenge for kids to skip class Friday – but were twisted, at some point, to appear as a school shooting threat that continued to circulate on social media, according to television station WJLA.
In response to these general threats, as well as specific threats to schools in Citrus County, the district says one student has been charged and six others have been disciplined.
These disciplines range from out-of-school suspensions to a recommendation for expulsion, the district wrote in a statement. It is also continuing to work with the sheriff's office on investigations that could lead to more arrests.
"We understand threats of this nature, even when deemed unsubstantiated, create a heightened sense of anxiety among our students, staff, and families," Citrus County Schools wrote.
"Please be assured, we have law enforcement, guardians, and other safety protocols in place as additional safety measures."
The school district added that it will continue to investigate every social media threat and "hold those accountable to the fullest extent of our authority."
If you see a threatening message, you are urged to report it to law enforcement rather than continue sharing it on social media.