GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Lt. Tommy Greer heads up the School Resource Officer Division in the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office. His team stays busy investigating school threats on social media.
“Unfortunately, we’re getting really good at it because we’re doing it a lot,” Lt. Greer said. “It happens on a weekly basis.”
This is why when the TikTok challenge “National Shoot Up Your School Day” popped up last week, his team knew it was only a matter of time.
“We had a young man who participated in it,” Lt. Greer said.
The threat was made against Hendersonville High School this past Friday.
Lt. Greer explained, “HHS school shooting tomorrow,” was posted online. “It got to the principal.”
Within 2 hours, the SRO identified the student.
“We showed up at his house at 11:00 at night, and now, he’s headed to court for making a threat of mass violence,” Lt. Greer said.
When interviewed, Lt. Greer explained, the student said what most of those who participate say.
“It was just a joke. He was very forthcoming,” Lt. Greer said. “It was the TikTok challenge he wanted to participate in. They just want to be the one that causes their school to shut down.”
The threat has broader consequences besides tying up law enforcement resources. Students now face a misdemeanor. The tougher state law went into effect on July 1st.
“He’s being charged criminally,” Lt. Greer said. “He’s going to have to go to court. He’s suspended from school. He’s going to have to go to some alternative education.”
And with a new day, comes a new challenge.
“I saw on the list a certain date was, ‘shove your teacher down day,'” said Lt. Greer.
He hopes parents read this story and take time to talk with kids before it’s too late.
“If you make a social media threat of a person-to-person threat in Sumner County Schools,” Lt. Greer warned. “We prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”