Social media ‘challenge’ increases police presence at Maine schools Friday

School districts warning parents of nationwide message on TikTok
(File)(Live 5/File)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 10:22 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WESTBROOK, Maine (WMTW) - Several Maine schools will have an increased police presence Friday after a threat to schools nationwide appeared on the social media app TikTok.

The so-called “challenge” encourages students to make violent threats to schools on Dec. 17. The videos are non-specific and do not name any schools in Maine or nationally.

Superintendents in many towns, including Topsham, Saco and Falmouth have sent letters and emails to parents warning them about these threats. So far, police and the Maine Information & Analysis Center have not found any credible threats to any Maine schools.

Robert Lucy, the superintendent for MSAD 75, says there will be an increased law enforcement presence at schools in the district Friday as a precaution.

WMTW News 8 has learned that Lewiston schools are closed Friday due to a threat found on social media that is not connected to this TikTok challenge. The nature of the threat wasn’t disclosed but officials decided to cancel class out of an abundance of caution.

Police ask anyone who sees anything out of the ordinary to please call law enforcement.

The superintendent of the Bangor School System, James Tager, sent a release tonight to Bangor families. He says in part:

“At this time, there have been no local, credible threats made in our region and no threats relating specifically to the Bangor School Department.

We encourage all families to take time to reinforce the expectation for safe schools and responsible use of social media. If a student should see something or hear anything suspicious or concerning, they should immediately report these concerns to a trusted adult, district administrator, and/or law enforcement.”

Copyright 2021 WMTW. All rights reserved.