The 13-year-old says the Instagram posts were a "joke" inspired by a TikTok challenge, deputies sayBy CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 13-year-old has admitted using an Instagram alias to post hoax threats against Ballenger Creek Middle School this week, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The teen acknowledged creating the Instagram account and posting the threats but said it was a “joke” inspired by a TikTok challenge, and that he has no plans to shoot anyone, the Sheriff’s Office said.

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School districts and law enforcement agencies nationwide have been monitoring similar social media posts, but so far none of the threats has been deemed credible, according to CBS News.

While a search of the teen’s room found no weapons and the social media threats were debunked, deputies said he is expected to face criminal charges including threats of a mass attack.

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Lt. Jason Dealer, who’s in charge of Frederick County’s school resource officers, said investigators zeroed in on the teen “through the use of technology and working with social media providers.”

“Although this particular school threat has been investigated, we will still have an increased police presence at the school and throughout the Frederick County school system today,” Dealer said.

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Anyone with information about the identity of those posting school threats in Frederick County is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 301-600-1046.

CBS Baltimore Staff