Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said there will be a police presence at every school in the county on Friday, following an increase in social media threats against schools on Long Island. Steve Langford reports. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

Long Island police and school districts are boosting security at schools as a precaution against an unfounded online nationwide social media threat saying violence is planned for Friday.

The threat, a viral TikTok video, claims every school in the nation will be attacked Friday. Nassau and Suffolk police and the FBI say the threats are not considered credible and they urge residents not to share them online.

But both forces are investigating threats made to local schools and plan to provide a presence to school buildings throughout the Island Friday.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said many of the posts are designed to draw clicks and shares. Such threats have spiked sharply in the last year, he said, draining police resources and forcing school districts and parents to be on alert.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks at a news conference...

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder speaks at a news conference at police headquarters in Mineola on Thursday. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

"Every one is treated as real. We take it very serious and track it down immediately," Ryder said. "While that’s happening, we’re working with our schools to make sure security is enhanced to find if that threat is credible or not."

Several school districts sent letters home to parents Thursday afternoon describing the threats and plans to increase security.

Huntington Superintendent James Polansky said Nassau and Suffolk police were also notifying school districts about the threats, which are being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.

"They indicated that no such threats are specific to schools in our region but that the repeated reposting of these threats in local group chats can give the perception that they are regionally focused," Polansky said in a letter. "As a precautionary measure, we have inquired with our precinct about a police presence tomorrow and have been informed that they will be monitoring local school district campuses throughout the day."

Similar letters were sent to parents by other districts, including South Huntington, Bayport-Blue Point, Lindenhurst, Sayville, Long Beach, William Floyd and Longwood.

Suffolk police have deemed threats made in the North Amityville and Brentwood school districts related to the viral video to be not credible and put out a statement about the Friday threat, saying "The posts warn of rumors that the posting parties have heard regarding a nationwide attack on schools. However, none of the parties indicate that they have any independent knowledge of a threat. Some of the posting parties even indicate that they believe this is a hoax but they have elected to share the information anyway.

"Unfortunately, the repeated reposting of these threats in local group chats can give the perception that this is a local threat. There is no indication that this threat has any connection to Suffolk County."

Nassau police said there has been a 148% increase in school threats this year from September to December compared with the same period last year.

That also amounts to a 25% increase in school threats during the same period in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police arrested a 12-year-old Nassau County girl last week who they said was posting threats with a picture of a gun that went viral on social media. Another threat was traced to Virginia.

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