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Superintendent warns Detroit Lakes parents of TikTok Challenge involving false school threat reporting

In an email sent Thursday, Mark Jenson, superintendent of Detroit Lakes Public Schools, is warning parents of a TikTok challenge involving false school threat reporting. Jenson stated no "threats" have been made to Detroit Lakes area schools, but wanted to encourage conversations between parents and students about how dangerous this online trend could be for them and their school.

Mark Jenson.jpg
Detroit Lakes Public Schools Superintendent Mark Jenson was given an extremely positive evaluation for his first year on the job. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

In an email sent Thursday to parents of Detroit Lakes area students, the school superintendent is warning of a potentially "dangerous" TikTok challenge involving false school threat reporting.

His Dec. 16 email to the DL Tribune included an advisory from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) acknowledging the online trend of school threat reporting for Dec. 17, but also stated that "as of Thursday morning, at least three schools in Minnesota have located similar threat reporting. However, local and state law enforcement have not identified the threat as credible at this time."

In the advisory, DPS also stated, "the origins of this threat remain unknown and there is no evidence to suggest that any mass causality or severe violence incidents will occur on this date, within Minnesota or the U.S. more broadly."

In the email, Mark Jenson, superintendent of Detroit Lakes Public Schools, wrote that no "threats" have been made against any area schools, but wanted to make parents and the community aware of the online trend.

"Our best defense is with our students, families, and community to report anything unusual or alarming they may see or hear," Jenson wrote. "I felt it necessary for you to be aware of the issue and possibly have a conversation with your children on how dangerous this 'challenge' can be for them and their school."

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