SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The Sioux City Police Department (SCPD) charged six students with harassment, saying they were involved in reports of threats on social media against Sioux City schools.
According to a release from the SCPD, they were made aware Thursday of a post circulating on TikTok making a threat of violence against schools across the country on Friday. The police said they began to monitor the threat and work with schools to ensure safety.
The release stated the SCPD started receiving reports Thursday night of threats against Sioux City schools being made on social media. The police department started investigating the threats, which included a report of someone saying he was planning to take a gun to school and another of a conversation implying threats against East Middle, the police said. There was also a post showing a gun “with a threat towards North Middle” and posts on TikTok of several students at Sioux City East High School pointing their phones like guns.
Officers identified the students and assessed whether the threats were serious. The police also worked with the school district, informing them of the threats and finding the students. Officers were assigned to patrol around schools as well.
After investigating the cases, they found none of the threats to be legitimate and were instead meant to cause alarm amongst students.
According to the release, six students were charged with harassment. The school district is taking steps to keep students out of school until their investigations are complete. Students could be disciplined with suspension or expulsion. Additional charges may be filed against the students.
The police department is continuing to investigate the threats. It will also work to obtain more evidence into the threats through the social media platforms.
The SCPD said it has “zero tolerance for threats or acts that endanger the safety of students. We will thoroughly investigate and charge those responsible for these acts. We are committed to preventing violence in our schools and do our part to ensure the safety of all students in our community.”
The SCPD wanted to thank students and parents who provided them with information. It asks that parents talk to their kids about the seriousness of the situation, but also know what social media their children are on and what they are posting.