JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — An eight grade student was arrested in connection with a TikTok threat made against the district.
District leaders issued a letter with more details:
Dear Seneca Valley Staff and Parent(s)/Guardian(s),
As a follow-up to the troubling TikTok post that appeared late last Thursday, which caused us to go to remote instruction on Friday, we are providing you with a few updates. We would also like to share safety measures for when students and staff return from winter break on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
As you will recall, late Thursday, Dec. 16, TikTok threats with connections to Seneca Valley prompted the District to move to a fully remote instructional model on Friday, Dec. 17. As with all threats, an investigation was immediately launched to identify the individual(s)/student(s) involved.
In partnership with the Jackson Township Police Department and TikTok’s Safety Team, the student responsible for making the TikTok threat has been identified and arrested. The 14-year-old male student is an eighth grader in the district and has been formally charged with Terroristic Threats and Disorderly Conduct. He will also be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the district’s discipline policy.
The safety of our students and staff is always a top priority at Seneca Valley. As stated last week, moving forward, students and staff can expect to see additional police officers at all our schools out of an abundance of caution. We will also be conducting random and unannounced metal detector/bag checks periodically on our secondary campus (grades 7-12). Please share with your student(s) so that they are not fearful. It is also a good time to remind students that pocketknives, medications (prescription or otherwise), tobacco or tobacco-related devices (vapes, vape cartridges, e-cigarettes, etc.) on their person – or in their vehicles – is in violation of District policy and they should not be in possession of them.
As for digital citizenship, proper online behavior is a topic that is embedded in our technology lessons. We ask our families to work with us in partnership on this topic by monitoring their child(ren)’s social media activity and speaking with them about appropriate online conduct. Any activity on Seneca Valley’s laptops or network that is threatening in nature can and will be captured, preserved and shared with police. As a reminder, when a child posts or reposts inappropriate, harassing or threatening content, police can trace an IP address, which identifies the device/user who posts such information. We also suggest you ask your child(ren) to show you how social media platforms, like Snapchat and TikTok, work. Most will know and can demonstrate how they function, as well as how to preserve photos and videos, if needed.
Finally, one of the best things we can do is to continuously remind our students that if they “See Something” online to please “Say Something” to a trusted adult. We encourage anyone with knowledge about threats to immediately inform the district, police or Mr. Jason Young, Seneca Valley Safety & Security Supervisor, at (724) 452-6040, ext. 1620 or by email at [email protected].
As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and conducive learning environment for our students.
Dr. Tracy Vitale
Superintendent of Schools
Chief Terry Seilhamer
Jackson Township Police Department
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