Duluth School District Superintendent reacts to social media scare

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A social media scare on TikTok that called for nationwide school violence on Friday had Northland schools on alert.

While some schools across Minnesota did shut down for the day, in Duluth they stayed open.

“Upon review and consideration by ourselves and the Duluth Police Department it was determined that it wasn’t a credible threat for us at this point,” explained Duluth School District Superintendent John Magas.

Magas said that, although they had a determined there was no serious threat, some parents and students still were cautious.

“There was at least a moderate degree of concern and there were a fair number of students who did not attend today because of concern in general. We did have significant police presence in our schools and increased monitoring of our schools by our school resource officers and administration, but there weren’t any incidents of note.”

Concerning this new trend of social media threats, Magas said its not something he believes society should live in fear of.

“How much are we going to let social media control us?” Magas asked rhetorically. “I think that we have to maintain safety but we can’t close things down because a single anonymous source makes a general threat.”

Magas said because the threat being a general one, and not Duluth specific, was another reason why the school day proceeded as normal.

“It would be difficult for us if we closed every time there was anonymous push on social media along those lines. If there was something specific and we had concern that it was intended for our students or our schools, we would have to monitor what that meant as well,” Magas continued. “I think it’s important for parents to make sure that they’re monitoring the social media that their children have because I think it’s important to make sure that people are staying safe and not getting involved in things they shouldn’t.”

Superintendent Magas said, if anyone does see a threat on social media, that they should immediately report it to the police and school administration.