SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– The Springfield Police Department has found two juveniles who were responsible for posting hoax threats on social media.

Rumors threatening school shootings to occur on December 17 became viral and circulated across the country on the social media outlet TikTok. Many parents kept children home from schools.

According to a news release from Springfield Police, there was mass absenteeism in schools and a near overload of calls to Springfield’s Emergency Communications Center.

Detectives identified the two juveniles responsible and determined the posts to be non-credible hoax threats. Police searched their homes and spoke to their parents. The juveniles were advised of the severity of their posts and their parents were connected to agencies that could provide possible services for their children. No criminal charges were filed. 

“We would like parents to spend some of this time over winter break to discuss the ramifications of making threatening posts on the internet.  It can cause mass hysteria and delay much needed emergency services in our city due to the amount of resources needed to identify those responsible and ensure the threats are not credible.  In addition our Detectives working with our R-TAC crime analysts have identified more than a dozen juveniles responsible for similar social posts over the last few years which led to school discipline and in some cases criminal charges.  Thankfully, all of these posts have been found to be hoaxes.  Every single threatening post is investigated and taken seriously.  God forbid if there ever is a credible threat found we will alert the schools and our community immediately,” said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. 

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I deeply appreciate our brave and dedicated men and women in blue and School Department Officials efforts to keep all our students safe and sound. Now it is imperative that these juveniles and their families realize and respect the magnitude of these types of threats, to not only learn from, but just as important that all others with these types of negative thoughts and actions should know better too.”