WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Despite a TikTok trend, the vast majority of schools in western Massachusetts did not report any threats Friday, but the impacts were certainly felt.
Police and school departments told 22News the potential threat needed to be taken seriously, but for many schools the goal was to make sure education was uninterrupted.
“We didn’t have any specific threats against our schools so we wanted to make sure we didn’t overreact but we also wanted to make sure we didn’t underreact,” said Superintendent John Provost of Northampton Public Schools.
Provost said students walking around school Friday likely didn’t notice anything different compared to other school days, a decision made after consulting with local law enforcement and administrative staff.
This nationwide threat, comes only days after Westfield faced its own not credible threat. Westfield Police Captain Steve Dickinson said posts like these can pull a lot of resources from law enforcement and lead to serious consequences.
“On top of school discipline they would be looking at criminal charges in the juvenile courts,” Dickinson told 22News.
Parents also had to figure out how to talk to their children about these social media posts. It’s something Pat Sullivan from Granville is glad his children didn’t have to experience on this level.
“Kids are six years old, they have full data service on an iPhone. they don’t relay need it,” Pat said. “I just think it’s too bad.”
Superintendent Provost added that when it comes to children using social media, it’s all about being a good digital citizen: making sure the posts you’re putting out are positive messages.