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Aspen student discusses TikTok scare after national threats

View of school and field.jpg
Brent Gardner-Smith
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Snow covers the empty football field on the Aspen School District campus. The elementary school is to the right of the playing field, and the high school is out of frame to the right.

On Dec. 16, the Aspen School District advised parents about a series of videos on the social networking platform TikTok that threatened nationwide school shootings the following day.

The threats were not deemed credible, and no threats were specifically targeted at the schools in the Aspen School District, but the warning made some students and parents nervous.

On Dec. 21, reporter Halle Zander spoke with Fatima Flores, a junior at Aspen High School. They discussed challenges made on social media and how last week’s threats impacted her.

For resources about how to talk to kids about mass shootings and gun violence, go online to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. The web address is nctsn.org.

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Halle is an award-winning journalist and the All Things Considered Anchor for Aspen Public Radio. She has been recognized for her work by the Public Media Journalists Association and the Colorado Broadcasters Association. Before she began working full-time with Aspen Public Radio in September 2021, Halle was a freelance broadcast journalist for both Aspen Public Radio and KDNK. Halle studied environmental analysis at Pitzer College. She was an educator at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and at the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment program, where she taught youth radio and managed a weekly public affairs show.