FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — On Thursday (Oct.3), the Future School of Fort Smith added a police presence and told parents they would excuse kids from school who did not show up that day.
The action was prompted by a perceived threat involving a social media post on the popular social media site TikTok.
The school posted this on their Facebook page:
"Police have investigated the situation regarding a recent social media post and found no criminal wrongdoing or evidence of a credible threat. School will continue as normal on Oct. 4. We will host a community forum at the school on Monday at 6p.m. to discuss this issue as well as school safety and communication plans."
The video that prompted the outcry is of a 15-year-old student holding a toy gun on TikTok.
The male student can be heard saying, "Day one getting bullied at school. Day two getting bullied at school. Day three getting bullied at school." During this, he walks up to a mirror with a somber look and a red hoodie on. In the last line, he walks up to the mirror, holding a toy gun and says, "Not getting bullied today, *****."
Sherri Clark, the mother of the 15-year-old boy who posted the video, is speaking out.
She says a detective showed up at her home to talk to her about the incident.
She says her son was bullied physically and emotionally before the video and now has her son at home. After speaking with the school, she is currently trying to decide how she wants to move forward with his education.
Clark said she is being attacked online by parents and others in the community. She met with school officials on Thursday (Oct.3) and a Fort Smith detective.
"Since there were no laws broken, can't we let It go? I would like to ask them; can we let it go? The more we talk about it, the more it amplifies the situation, and kids are cruel," Clark said.
She said her son wasn't posting the video towards any classmates or the school and that it was a copy of another TikTok user's post.
"If he's going to threaten someone, I have known him long enough to know he's going to say it," Clark said.
5NEWS reporter Jo Ellison spoke with Clark and asked about the severity of a situation of this nature.
Ellison asked, "What about people who say you're wrong because we have to take these things seriously?"
" I don't know. I'm kind of divided on that because I know the school did what they had to do to protect themselves and to let the community know. But at the same time, it put my son further out there to have more of a chance to be put in danger," Clark said.
Clark said her son was being hit in the back of the head and pushed before the video. She said she would also like the bullying issue to be addressed at school.
The Fort Smith Future School said they could not talk about a particular student but did want to speak of a program in place at the school called 'Restorative Practices.'
It's an international program that many schools have in place. Teachers are trained in the practice to create a peaceful environment.
It focuses on addressing issues of bullying, isolation, or other problems students can face. The technique brings students of different social groups together so they can get to know one another.
Often times, the practice is met by bringing students together in one group and getting issues out in the open.
Future School of Fort Smith said this practice is implemented in the school 4 times a week for an hour.