Rapid City schools cancel amid nationwide TikTok threats

December 17, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Public schools in Rapid City closed Friday after a social media post threatened a middle school amid nationwide TikTok posts warning of shooting and bomb threats.

The Rapid City Police Department said officers believed the threatening social media post directed at “a North Middle School” had originated in Iowa. The department said Rapid City Area Schools canceled classes “in the spirit of caution for the safety of students.”

“At this time, local law enforcement has yet to find any credible or actionable threat directed at our local school system,” the department said.

The social media threats had many educators on edge as they circulated in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Michigan, which has been followed by numerous copycat threats to schools elsewhere. School officials in states including Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York and Pennsylvania said Thursday there would be an increased police presence because of the threats.

The vague, anonymous posts circulating online warned that multiple schools would receive shooting and bomb threats.