NJ warns all school administrators of Dec. 17 shooting threat
After a week of numerous online threats made against New Jersey schools that led to searches and some arrests, the nation's schools are being warned about a chilling shooting threat made specifically for Friday.
According to a message posted by Absecon Public schools from Office of School Prepardeness and Emergency Planning Director Jeffrey Gale, a video on TikToc and Snapchat warns of "nationwide school shootings on December 17th" along with the hashtags to go with the date.
No specific school or district in New Jersey or anywhere else is mentioned in the message.
The New Hampshire Department of Education shared examples of the chilling messages found online.
"Many schools will be getting many school $ho0t!ng$ (sic) and b0mb (sic) threats on December 17 Friday please be aware i recommend skipping if you don't feel safe. And to all students techears (sic)I hope you all come home safe and sound please share this."
Another read in part: "they shooting up the school on December 17th last day of school so don't go and I'm not joking why would I joke about something like this."
Threats intended to create confusion
School administrators are advised to make local police aware of the threat and to arrange for an increased presence on Friday and to try to manage the confusion that such messages bring to students and their families.
"While such generalized messages are often intended only to achieve this goal we should not discount the possibility they motivate students who are contemplating ac act of school violence to attempt to carry out their plan," Gale said.
Threats and arrests
Police have responded to threats in districts around the state including Hightstown, Jersey City, Manalapan and Ocean City.
Police in Ewing responded with a heavy presence at the end of the school day Wednesday to a threat made via text, according to police Chief Al Rhodes. Officers responded to the school and determined the threat not to be credible and classes were dismissed at normal time.
Some students have been charged with making threats.
In Somerset County, Franklin police charged a 13-year-old middle school student with creating a false alarm with the threat of a "violent act" made via text message on Tuesday. The boy said it was meant as a prank, officials said.
A New Brunswick High School freshman was charged with second-degree creating a false public alarm, and third-degree cyber harassment and terroristic threats.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ