December 17, 2021

A joint letter from AFT and NYSUT addressing recent social media threats

Author: Andy Pallotta and Randi Weingarten
Source:  NYSUT and AFT
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To our members:

This has been yet another tough week for educators across the state and the nation. Friday, a number of districts closed and all of you were put on high alert after concerns about school violence circulated on TikTok. It’s sickening to see incidents like this happen again and again, and we want to update you on work we’re doing to address this.

We were in contact with TikTok Friday, Dec. 17, about what they’re going to do to put a stop to the disturbing trends circulating on their platform. First, they assured us that they are working with law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security regarding any threats that appear on their platform. Secondly, they have said that they are taking these issues seriously. Third, they have agreed to meet with us in January to discuss how to stem the spread of dangerous misinformation and disturbing trends that are creating only more trauma for our members, our students and our communities.

We will continue to engage with social media companies about this kind of behavior and monitor threats like these. We will continue to do whatever we can to ensure your and your students’ safety and ease the trauma and challenge of this school year. And we will continue to fight for the resources and support you need to serve your students. We are committed to being relentless on your behalf.

In solidarity,

Andy and Randi

Andy Pallotta, President

Randi Weingarten, President