Michigan schools tighten security in response to vague threats on TikTok

Police say threats will be prosecuted even when not credible

Police say threats will be taken seriously.

DETROIT – School leaders in Michigan and across the country brought in more security or even canceled classes in response to vague threats of violence on social media, specifically on TikTok.

The trend “American School Shooting Day” calls for students nationwide to make false threats about a school shooting that would cause schools to close. This new trend comes weeks after one of the deadliest mass shootings of the year took place at Oxford High School, where four students died, and seven others were injured including a teacher.

Law enforcement of all levels, including Homeland Security, have taken notice of the trend and “(they) do not have any information indicating any specific, credible threats to schools but recommends communities remain alert,” the Department of Homeland Security said.

“Anytime that we have any type of these threats, we investigate them as credible until we can prove that they’re not,” said Mike Shaw, the Second District Lieutenant of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties. “And if we’re able to locate the person that did it, we’re going to seek it. Seek the harshest punishment.”

Michigan State Police are asking parents to talk with their children about the seriousness of the threats.

“If we find that was a threat that was made, even if it was incredible, or they couldn’t have carried out as a joke, we are going to bring the appropriate prosecutor and make sure that charges are brought up. And once you have a charge like that 20-year felony of reporting a false threat of terrorism, that’s a tough thing to get over. It’s a life-changing event,” Shaw said.

Read more: Prosecutor charges 6 more students for school threats across Wayne County

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.