JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Schools are warning students of new social media “challenges” circulating on sites like TikTok.
It follows a pattern that manifested in September with a challenge called “Sneaky Licks,” which encouraged students to vandalize school bathrooms and steal items on campus.
A widely shared online monthly to-do list asks students to “dirty school bulletin boards,” “dirty the yard or cafeteria,” and even expose themselves on campus. The October challenge prompts students to “slap a staff member”.
“They are very serious and we will take them very seriously,” Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Tracy Pierce said of the TikTok Trend List. “Anything on this list is a violation of our code of student conduct and could result in some sort of criminal dismissal. “
Students caught participating in any of the illegal activities will face expulsion and criminal prosecution, officials said. The challenges and their effects also disrupt the school day and the learning environment, which have already suffered greatly under the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It just won’t be tolerated, it just won’t be destruction of property and the interruption of valuable teaching time is not where we want to be right now, not at this critical point where we hope to get better with COVID, “St. Johns Education Association president Michelle Dillon said.
School and law enforcement officials ask parents to discuss their online activity with their children and warn them of the real consequences of participating in these kinds of “challenges.”
“Students shouldn’t stoop to these kinds of things that are disputed on Facebook, it’s really below them,” Pierce said. “I encourage people to make good decisions, at school and elsewhere, to stay out of trouble.
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