Local law enforcement ramps up patrols at schools after national threats of violence surface on social media

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 10:19 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Law enforcement in both Nebraska and Iowa are on high alert Friday after a TikTok trend went viral warning of violence at schools.

Parents say they are on edge.

Shannon Holland has a sixth-grader and she says the possibility of a school threat has her terrified.

“It’s scary because school is supposed to be a safe place. It’s terrifying that you have to worry about your kid when he goes to school when they are supposed to go there to learn and be safe. People are supposed to protect them,” said Holland.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the threats as soon as they came in.

“It’s vague threats. Nothing substantiated. Basically that there is going to be a school shooting or a shooting at a certain place so what we did was, out of an abundance of caution, we put all of our cruisers at all of our schools,” said Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson says they did receive a specific tip at Alfonza Davis Middle School. After a thorough investigation, they deemed the threat was not credible.

“There really wasn’t a threat. But what came out was there was going to be a shooting at that school but according to what the young man said was it was nothing dealing with a shooting, nothing of the nature,” said Chief Deputy Hudson.

Chief Deputy Hudson says he wants students and parents to know they take every single threat seriously. The department has a team of deputies monitoring social media and the capability of tracking down where exactly the threat came from, through IP addresses.

“My message to the kids is to understand that you can be held criminally liable for what you say. And my message for the parents is that goes for the parents, too. You are liable for your child so have a conversation with your child and make sure they are not making any threats or vail threats to a school, to a person. Have that conversation.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will continue to have an increased presence at schools for the time being because of the social media trend.

Parents say they just want it to stop.

“Love your kids and teach them better. Violence is not the answer,” said Holland.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says if your child hears of a threat they can report it anonymously to either the school district or the sheriff’s office.

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