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Jamestown Public Schools request extra law enforcement presence on school campuses

The TikTok challenge is nationwide and was not directed toward any specific state or city, said Sgt. Andrew Stoen with the Jamestown Police Department.

The Jamestown Public School District has made local law enforcement aware through its school resource officer of a TikTok challenge that calls for violence in schools across the U.S. on Friday, Dec. 17, according to Superintendent Rob Lech

“We did make the request from them through the SRO (school resource officer) to have additional support and presence on our school campuses,” Lech said.

He said there is a balance between providing awareness of the challenge versus creating fear in Jamestown Public Schools staff members, students and families.

“Ultimately, we’ve had no evidence of really credible or otherwise that would give us any pause or elicit any concerns,” he said. “Of course we still internally treat those threats even when they are not viable very seriously. That’s why we informed law enforcement through our SRO and asked for additional support and presence today.”

The TikTok challenge is nationwide and was not directed toward any specific state or city, said Sgt. Andrew Stoen with the Jamestown Police Department.

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Forum News Service reported that the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction said there’s “heightened awareness” among school districts across the state regarding Friday’s nationwide TikTok threat.

Some TikTok challenges that were planned for the school year include vandalizing school bathrooms or smacking a staff member.

Lech said the responses from students to the TikTok challenges are “really very minimal.”

“I can’t say that we never had any responses like that from these kinds of trends,” he said.

He said the school district is aware of the challenges and has policies in place that govern expectations for everyone.

“I think it is important that we are aware of them on what is happening,” he said. “At the same time I see that we have a ton of great families and great kids that belong to our district and they have a great deal of respect for the schools, for their teachers, for the support staff that they work with. I think our students, and our staff and our families support the policies that we have and understand the expectations that are before them.”

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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