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UPDATE: 12-16-21 TikTok Threat

UPDATE: 12-16-21 TikTok Threat
Posted on 12/16/2021
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Dear School Community,

As local and national law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the threats posted to TikTok, no evidence has been found connecting them to any local school districts. Nevertheless, I understand the anxiety and unease these situations cause with students and parents. We, therefore, will allow students an excused absence tomorrow if their parents want to keep them home from school. Please use the School Messenger system to notify us of the absence as you normally would. You may select “Pre-Approved Absence” as the reason. As for making tomorrow a virtual day or a day off from school, we feel strongly that running schools on their normal schedule is an important deterrent to “copycat” behavior and related pranks or hoaxes. In light of the fact that there is no connection between the threat and Garnet Valley, we feel that our schools can operate on Friday both safely and securely.

 

We continue to work with the Pennsylvania State Police. Should any connection and/or evidence show any reference to Garnet Valley, we will communicate this information immediately. The police will maintain a substantial presence within the community during school hours the next few days. As a reminder to everyone in our school community, especially at the secondary level and within social media platforms, students are typically the first to encounter information about concerning situations.  If you or your child are alerted to concerning and/or alarming information, please inform our school staff as soon as possible. While direct communication is best, remember that the Safe2Say system is also available to report a concern. Information entered into Safe2Say is communicated to school officials as well as local law enforcement agencies.  

 

In addition to our partnership with law enforcement and the preparedness planning that our Director of Safety and Security oversees in response to these types of issues, I wanted to remind parents that the District always pursues criminal and school-based discipline as consequences and deterrents. However, we also leverage an educational component to help students develop a healthy relationship with technology and social media. 

 

For the past several years, Garnet Valley has leveraged Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship curriculum to address timely topics and prepare students to take ownership of their digital lives. Garnet Valley is one of only a handful of districts in the country to be named a Certified Common Sense School District. This award is given to districts that demonstrate a commitment to educating students on the responsible and appropriate use of technology. Click HERE to see an overview of Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship curriculum.

 

Additionally, Garnet Valley understands a whole-community approach is the best means to keeping children safe. Consequently, the district has partnered with Family Zone to create an educational hub for parents to explore technology-related tips and resources. This hub includes articles, videos, courses, and more. Click HERE to visit the Family Zone page found in the Parent Portal of our district website. Click HERE for Common Sense Media’s Family Engagement Resources.

 

As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students.

 

Sincerely,
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Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent


The attached is a message from PaCIC.  There are no known credible threats to schools in Pennsylvania.

PaCIC Critical Infrastructure/Key Resource (CIKR) Situational Awareness

 

SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES CIRCULATING WARNING OF SCHOOL THREATS FOR 12/17/2021

 

The PaCIC is aware of numerous nationwide messages circulating on social media, specifically TikTok, warning of school shootings and bomb threats to occur on Friday, 12/17/2021. The messages warn of the existence of such threats, but do not contain specific threats, schools, actors, or locations. There are currently no known credible threats to schools in Pennsylvania.

 

Law enforcement and school officials are encouraged to remain vigilant and report all suspicious behavior. In an emergency, call 911. Threats and suspicious behavior involving schools in Pennsylvania should be reported to Safe2Say at (844) 723-2729, or [email protected], or online at www.safe2saypa.org.

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