Local school systems address Tik Tok trend that calls for violence on Friday

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE PARISH, La. (KLFY) — There is another Tik Tok trend being spread around social media that encourages students to act in violence at their schools on Friday, Dec. 17.

The Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) sent a message to parents addressing the trend and asking them to teach their kids the consequences of threatening violence.

The message is as follows:

Dear Lafayette School System Parents and Guardians:  

LPSS is aware of a nationwide TikTok trend threatening gun violence in schools tomorrow, December 17, 2021. While there are no credible threats directed to any of our schools, LPSS continues to work with law enforcement to monitor social media posts and determine if they have merit. 

Knowing that a poor or impulsive choice can ruin a young person’s life, I want to personally request your assistance in educating your child about the serious consequences of particular school behaviors. The following points are important to discuss with your child:

  • Threats of violence or terrorism (Definition)
  • All threats will be taken seriously and will result in a recommendation for expulsion. This includes social media posts, written or verbal threats, or physical gestures indicating a threat (i.e., hand gestures).
  • Any student who makes a violent threat, causes a serious disruption to the operation of a school, or causes individuals to fear for their safety will continue to be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent. 

LPSS expects safe and orderly learning environments, as well as the safety of school leaders, teachers, and students.

The school board is imploring that parents remind their children that they are responsible for what they communicate – either verbally or in writing, threaten, or post as it relates to other students, staff, or a school. LPSS also encourages parents to monitor their childrens’ social media.

We have experienced an increase in the number of students facing serious disciplinary action due to social media posts that violate LPSS’s code of conduct. It is unfortunate that students are making choices that have such serious consequences. Due to the seriousness of consequences imposed on students due to social media posts, parents are urged to monitor their child’s social media platforms. Quite often, parents are unaware of the posts that their child is creating, participating in, posting, or sharing.

LPSS said their number one priority is that teaching and learning occur in safe and orderly environments and that students who interfere with that or cause heightened anxiety will be disciplined.

Any type of threat should be reported immediately to school staff and law enforcement so that it can be fully investigated. Students and parents are urged to refrain from sharing information that has not been disseminated by LPSS or law enforcement, as misinformation causes more confusion and anxiety. 

Although the majority of our students make wise and appropriate choices on a regular basis, it is our responsibility to educate everyone on the importance of making good choices and the consequences associated with making poor choices. 

Parents are strongly encouraged to have important conversations with their children about appropriate school behavior so that they can remain in school. Parents who feel that their child needs more social/emotional support should reach out to their child’s teacher, principal, or school counselor.

All previous quotes attributed to LPSS Superintendent Irma Trosclair

To ensure school safety, law enforcement and LPSS staff will continue to be present on school campuses – and will be on alert for any inappropriate behavior. 

The Vermilion Parish School Board (VPSB) has also responded to the trend. The VPSB says they will monitor social media posts and that they have no reason to believe any issues are planned for Vermilion Parish campuses.

The VPSB will also mark any absences with a code of extenuating circumstances.

VPSB is aware of a nationwide Tik Tok trend that is going around threatening violence at schools on December 17,2021. While there are no credible threats directed to any our our schools, we want you to know that we continue to monitor social media post for anything of merit.

We have no reason to believe that any issues are planned for our campuses, and want to reassure parents that we have systems in place to ensure student safety.

If, however, you and your child feel that it is in the best interest to remain off campus tomorrow, we will mark all absences tomorrow with a code of extenuating circumstances.

Again, we have no reason to believe that any issues will take place on our campus, but you ultimately can make the decision that is best for you and your family.

Thomas J. Byler, Superintendent of VPSB

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