Earlier this year, several districts including our own dealt with a destructive challenge on the social media platform TikTok. This challenge, at the time called Devious Lick, sought to cause damage to school facilities.
While I’m proud our schools rose above the challenge and only encountered a few instances of damage, a new and sickening challenge has bubbled up from this social media platform. The latest challenge has led to a rash of threats across the U.S. against schools, specifically on Friday, Dec. 17.
According to law enforcement agencies across the country, school systems are beginning to receive and therefore investigate these threats. D38 does not have school on Friday, Dec. 17, and we are not aware of any threats pertaining to our schools.
Still, I want to go on record to say we as a district must come together as staff, students, families and community members, to rise above these trends and challenges and to keep all of our people and schools safe.
Social media is a powerful tool that can lead users to fall under the influence of others, and this is a dangerous thing. I encourage our families to have conversations around the dangers of social media. To aid in these conversations, there are some helpful tips for families located on the Common Sense Media site. I also want to encourage all families to read and understand the D38 student conduct policy, which will be enforced should the need arise.
Families are encouraged to talk about the real consequences of actions that take place on social media platforms. Students will be held accountable for their actions, especially if they choose to levy threats against a school. Beyond serious school discipline, criminal charges can be levied against any person found to have issued school threats.
I want to thank our students, staff, families and community for remembering to say something if they see something. Students are always encouraged to report to a trusted adult or file a Safe2Tell if the need arises.
I’m looking forward to a safe and happy holiday break and welcoming back our students to a fantastic spring semester.
KC Somers, Ed.D
Lewis-Palmer School District 38