Geneva elementary school goes on lockout after ‘nonspecific bomb threat’

GENEVA, N.Y. (WHEC) — An Ontario County elementary school had to go on lockout Friday morning.

North Street Elementary in Geneva was on a short precautionary lockout as police and K9s made sure the building was safe.

The district said it’s because of a "nonspecific bomb threat to the building" and that it’s a standard, precautionary protocol.

A spokesperson for the school district said the bomb threat was not made on TikTok, but it was incited by a trending TikTok challenge where people are making vague threats of attacks at schools across the nation prompted many districts to increase police presence Friday, just in case.

The message originated on TikTok and encourages kids to bring weapons to school.

No local school districts were mentioned in the so-far anonymous threat, nor were any specific schools or violent events mentioned.

Gates-Chili High School and Greece Olympia High School were among districts with police on campus Friday morning.

Tharaha Thavakumar, a therapist with Rochester Regional Health, said threats like this are harming the mental health of students and their parents during a time that’s already high stress for many.

"I’ve already dealt with a child who was home and he was crying because his parents didn’t want him to come to school because they were afraid and he didn’t understand because he wanted to come to school and be with his friends and be at school," Thavakumar said. "And then, you know, you have the opposite where I’m talking to parents who are also very anxious, concerned and you know, kind of ‘What am I supposed to do? Should I keep them home? Should I send them to school?’ And then, as a parent, I have two kids. One in high school, one in kindergarten, and so I had to have that conversation with my own kids this morning, as, you know, just ‘Be aware, this is what’s going on, don’t linger in the hallways, make sure you go right to your class, if you see something that’s odd, make sure you say something."

TikTok tweeted Thursday night, saying it’s working with law enforcement to look into potential violence at schools Friday, and saying it takes "even rumored threats with utmost seriousness."

The company said it’s still working to find out who was behind the initial threat.