A run of so-called "swatting" incidents in Iowa on Tuesday morning are bringing out police and anxious parents.
Davenport, Clinton and Muscatine schools are among a collection in Iowa to have prank calls go to police, claiming shots were being fired.
Central High in Davenport was a targeted school, and officials released a statement Tuesday afternoon, indicating, the district, "worked diligently with Davenport Police to investigate this report. However, upon investigation, it was deemed to be a false report, and likely part of a bigger national trend that has been spread through the social media platform TikTok.
"We have no further information on the event. As always, we remain diligent in maintaining a safe and welcoming educational and social environment for our students."
Police in Clinton were assuring parents and the community on Facebook Tuesday morning that there was no evidence of any real threat.
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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens addressed the false reports, which began in Clinton, in a news conference Tuesday morning.
Their announcement included Davenport as a targeted school.
Other districts with confirmed reports include Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, Iowa City, as well as districts in Cerro Gordo, Story and Polk counties. By the end of the day, the Iowa Department of Public Safety said 23 school districts received threats.
"At this point in time, we don’t believe there are any active threats to any schools in Iowa," Bayens said. "This appears to be an orchestrated swatting incident that is making its way across the state."
Other states have experienced similar coordinated swatting school threats recently.
Clinton High School was the first in Iowa to receive the threat Tuesday morning, Bayens said. Law enforcement, including the Iowa State Patrol responded, and as it became clear there was no active threat, other calls began rolling in from other school districts.
Law enforcement responded to Clinton High School at 8:08 a.m. to a report of students shot in a bathroom, Clinton Police Chief Kevin Gyrion wrote in a news release. At least five emergency agencies responded, Gyrion wrote. As officials cleared the building for a possible suspect, "officers quickly noticed there were no students injured and could not locate an active shooter."
Officers gave the all-clear at about 10:12 a.m., according to the news release.
Initially, officials at Clinton High School posted on Facebook that a 911 call reporting shots fired at Clinton High School prompted students to shelter in place while the police department combed the building.
"There is currently no sign of any shots fired," the officials wrote.
The school canceled classes for the day. Later, officials posted an update that "there is no evidence of any shooting at Clinton High School. Several large schools in eastern Iowa have also received 911 reports of active shooters."
Muscatine Superintendent Clint Christopher posted to the district's Facebook page that a fake threat was called into the Muscatine Police Department from outside the state Tuesday morning. The caller referenced a non-existent staff member's name, Christopher wrote.
"Muscatine Police responded accordingly, swept the entire building, and once they informed us that there was no credible threat, we could resume the school day," Christopher wrote. "While this is certainly a disruption to the day, we will do our best to resume school as normal at Muscatine High School."