New Mexico schools take precautions in response to TikTok challenge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Many New Mexico school districts spent the last few days alerting families of a TikTok challenge that encourages students to make school threats.

Officials with Rio Rancho Public Schools said they’ve investigated two threats but both were deemed not credible. The district reportedly put a number of security measures in place to keep students safe.

Meanwhile, Albuquerque Public Schools officials said they did not actually receive any threats Friday.

There’s an Albuquerque ordinance that actually makes those threats a crime.

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"This ordinance came to us from a school resource officer at Highland High School who received a threat and tried to get Facebook and Instagram information about where the phone was, whether it was on campus," said Pat Davis, Albuquerque city councilor. "The important piece for APD wasn’t so much that it was a way to charge juveniles with crimes, it was that, by making it against the law, they can compel the social media companies to tell them whether the phone was on campus or at the school and it was a huge tool in determining whether these people were credible."

Davis said officers used it four times in 2017. Two of those were not credible threats – and two other students were referred to counseling. Since then, APD couldn’t tell KOB 4 how often they have used that tool, only that "there are different units within APD that investigate" depending on the threat.

Authorities across San Juan County were also on high alert Friday. Farmington police were stepping up patrols at local schools, and the Bloomfield and Aztec school districts also said they were going to have a larger police presence.

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