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Message from the superintendent regarding social media and school safety

CCSD 89 families:
 
I am writing to let you know that Community Consolidated School District 89 is aware of the threatening TikTok message that has been circulating nationally over the last few days. Our administrative team has talked to all the local police departments and each department advised that there is no credible threat to our area or CCSD 89 schools.
 
In case you are not aware, a message was posted on a TikTok account stating that there might be a shooting and bomb threat at every school in the United States on Friday, December 17. It’s unclear where this rumor came from or where this message was posted. The post mentions no specific schools and does not appear to be tied to our area in any way.
 
Social media has proved to be a new challenge for all school districts, including CCSD 89. Threats against or at schools are not new. What has changed is how quickly those rumors can spread, even if the origin of the message is unclear. Right now, school districts across the country – from Baltimore to California - are examining this specific post, trying to determine whether it is connected to their community.
 
I want you to know that we always investigate all threats as potentially true. We mean it when we say our first priority is ensuring the safety of every student and staff member in our buildings. We work with police to determine the credibility and, if necessary, the next steps. When CCSD 89 became aware of this information, we contacted our local police departments; they indicated there is no credible threat to our area. They remain vigilant for any safety issues in the community, as they always are.
 
In general, we do not share information about threats that local police indicate have no connection to our area, as it can be confusing and alarming to families and students. The media coverage and family questions about this TikTok incident prompted today’s message. We may not send a message every time there is a vague, unrelated social media threat that our local police departments determine is not related to our area. 
 
However, we will always communicate credible threats to our families as quickly as possible. Please let your children know that the district takes these threats seriously. They may also be coming across this same message in their online lives, but might not be aware of what to do.
 
When you or your student encounters any school-related threat, the first and best person to share it with is a local police officer or school employee who can investigate the origin and credibility.
 
As you are probably aware, all CCSD 89 students receive monthly emails to their “ccsd89.me” student email accounts with information about how to report bullying, threats, or classmates in crisis. Students can confidentially text or call the "SpeakUp for Safety" tip line at (630) 348-2033 or email speakup@ccsd89.me.
 
Please have conversations with your student about the importance of reporting anything that makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Help us build their confidence to say something when they see something.
 
Thank you for your partnership on these issues, and thank you for helping us keep our schools safe places to learn.
 
Emily Tammaru
Superintendent
Community Consolidated School District 89