TikTok Shows What’s Wrong With Society

Sarah Baird, Pawprint Staff Reporter

Trigger Warning: school shootings and gun violence

As most Hillcrest students know, on the week of Dec. 17, students nationwide took to TikTok and made school shooting threats, including one at Hillcrest. Dec. 17 was dubbed by the TikTokers “National Shoot Up Your School Day” because of how many threats got made.

People’s use of social media does a fantastic job of showcasing many issues with current society. This latest TikTok trend is no exception. How comfortable high schoolers felt threatening gun violence and death is frightening. Not only were they okay with making these threats, but they were also treating school shootings as a joke. 

This trend was incredibly disruptive to schools all around the United States. Classes were canceled or moved online in many schools nationwide (like eight schools in the Box Elder District), and many students chose to stay home even if their school was in session. 

“School districts across the United States are canceling classes on Friday, Dec. 17 due to reports of threats that are supposedly being made on TikTok. Districts in California, Texas, Minnesota, and Missouri have said they plan to close down Friday… Elsewhere, districts have said they plan to have heightened police presence or have emailed parents to say they’ve been investigating the allegations,” wrote Jacob Kastrenakes and Kim Lyons. 

Thousands (if not millions) of students lost a day at school because idiots on social media wanted to look cool by threatening murder because they were sick of school. What about that sounds remotely okay? 

Not only was this incredibly frightening to current faculty and students, but it was also likely triggering to survivors of past school shootings, especially since Dec. 17, 2021, was just three days after the ninth anniversary of the Sandy Hooks Elementary shooting. 

“Whenever [Hollan Holm, a survivor of the Heath High shooting] hears of a school shooting… ‘it dredges up the event and the immediate aftermath,’ he said,” wrote Erica Evans and Lois Collins.

The TikTokers who made or perpetuated this trend need to be held accountable. They can’t hide behind their age forever. If they made a threat like that as an adult, they would likely get fired and arrested, even if they had no intention of doing anything.

 Governments and schools shouldn’t ignore Dec. 17 just because no shootings happened. That is condoning continued glorification of violent behavior. Americans, especially minors, need to learn that guns are not toys and actions have consequences.

Despite what those TikTokers think, there is nothing remotely funny or “cool” about school shootings. At least 34 school shootings happened in 2021, killing 32 people and injuring 94. That’s three more shootings than all the shootings from 2000 to 2005 (including both of those years) combined. 

Accountability, considering others, and thinking before making rash decisions are lessons everyone needs to learn, especially those who made the Dec. 17 threats. Lives depend on it.