Local school districts try to stay ahead of TikTok’s destructive challenges before they hit their schools
AFFTON, Mo. – TikTok trends sweeping the country have districts and police departments asking parents and guardians to talk to their children and students to make sure they understand this is ‘”unacceptable behavior”.
“We had a bit of a hectic start to the school year and certainly the sneaky licks didn’t help us at all,” said Deann Myers, Principal of Affton High School.
A recent challenge called “Sneaky Licks” encourages students to post videos stealing or damaging school property on TikTok.
“We had soap dispensers that were taken out, there was, I believe, dye put in the toilet at one point, we had situations of toilet paper, writing on the wall,” Myers said. . “We saw vandalism in our bathrooms, we saw students who had even taken things from the bathroom, so there was damage, there were things that were stolen from the room bath. “
TikTok later announced that it would be removing videos for the “Sneaky Licks” challenge from its platform. As a result of these trends, Myers’ workday has changed.
“We put monitors just outside the bathroom, myself as a manager, I have a bathroom, I walk every hour to make sure he’s been taken care of and that there is nothing in there that I need to be alerted to, so I can refine when something is going on, ”she said.
It’s a similar story in the Fort Zumwalt school district.
“Sometimes it was spilled soap dispensers, maybe it was toilet paper,” said Superintendent Bernard DuBray.
The two school leaders said the students were facing consequences, including the payment of their damages. Myers said the students involved also met with the guards or janitors who had to clean up what they damaged, so they could put an action, on a name or face, and apologize.
Myers and DuBray said that thanks to the technology, it was not difficult to determine who was behind the damage.
“Most of them were posted on social media, so we tracked down a lot of these situations,” Myers said.
“We have cameras in all of our hallways so we can pretty much see who was in the washroom at different times,” DuBray said.
Both districts have contacted students and parents to try to stop it and stay ahead of the ever-changing trends.
The Affton School District sent a letter to parents about a new trend, “hitting a staff member.” The letter asked parents to “Please talk to your child tonight and make sure they understand that this behavior is not acceptable.”
Chief Michael Fillback of the Edwardsville Police Department said his department has not received any cases derived from Tiktok trends, but he wants parents and students to know that these trends could have serious consequences.
“There is no other goal than, I guess, to gain notoriety on social media,” Fillback said. “Anytime you hit, steal, or damage someone else’s property, whether it’s their own or government property, you absolutely can be charged for it. “
Districts and Chief Fillback have said they need parents’ help to communicate with their students.
“Really, we need help from parents, and they need to set some parameters for their kids,” DuBray said.
“As a parent, you should always talk to your kids about what they’re doing on social media, what they’re watching on TV,” said Chief Fillback.
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