By Gideon Adonai
The Roosevelt City Police Department in Utah announced Tuesday it charged three local students with a felony after an investigation found they’d been sharing and promoting the social media trend “bring your gun to school day,” which led some schools to cancel classes or increase police presence on Friday.
While no guns were found, police said the students encouraged the trend and suggested they would be participating in it.
The students were charged with a felony for “participating in this senseless act of sharing, commenting or encouraging school violence,” Chief Mark Watkins said in a statement.
On Friday, schools in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York and Texas closed for fear of violence as a result of the fad, which was also trending on TikTok and other platforms as “national shoot up your school day.”
TikTok stated Thursday it was working with law enforcement to investigate the threats, though it clarified, “we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading” on its platform.
The company argued posts about the trend on its platform were only warnings and discussions of the rumour, not promotion of it, and that media reports were stirring rumors rather than facts.
Checks by AF24news news found no active trend on Tiktok and Twitter.
It is unclear whether the three students charged were encouraging the trend on TikTok—potentially contradicting the company’s statements—or another social media platform. It is also unclear the nature in which the students promoted the trend, or if they themselves threatened to bring guns to school.
Roosevelt City Police Department did not immediately respond to Forbes’ requests for comment. TikTok told Forbes it did not have an update to its Thursday statement in light of the charges.
Schools have been dealing with the “devious licks” TikTok trend, in which students steal and vandalize school property, though TikTok has seemingly flagged the trend and removed posts pertaining to it.
Some students have attempted to replace the trend with one known as “angelic yields,” in which students restock school bathrooms and classrooms with supplies.
Source: Fox 46, Forbes,