COLUMBIA—A growing social media video platform, TikTok, is wreaking havoc in schools with its so-called “devious lick challenges.” In September, students were encouraged to steal or damage school property, then share a video with the hashtag on TikTok.
October’s TikTok challenge is to “slap a teacher.” According to a list that’s circulating on TikTok and Twitter right now, these are the remaining planned challenges for the rest of the school year:
October: Smack a staff member
November: Kiss your friend’s girlfriend at school
December: “Deck the halls and show your b****” (show your private parts)
January: Jab a breast
February: Mess up school signs
March: Make a mess in the courtyard or cafeteria
April: “Grab some eggz” (another stealing challenge)
May: Ditch day
June: Flip out in the front office
July: Spray paint a neighbor’s fence
“We are calling on parents to talk with their children and let them know that threatening and engaging in these types of activities are not a joke,” said Sherry East, President of The South Carolina Education Association (The SCEA). “There should be no tolerance for such behavior in our schools. These types of disruptions only take away from student learning.”
School districts across the nation are reacting strongly, investigating, and prosecuting the perpetrators.
“We need parents to talk to their kids and warn them of the serious consequences they face for such stunts, especially slapping a teacher,” East said. “Not only are these challenges disturbing, but they are also asking students to participate in criminal or possible life-changing events.
“The SCEA supports pressing charges for this type of behavior—whether you are an accomplice or the actual person committing the potential crime,” East said. “It’s not acceptable to destroy property or to deliberately physically hurt someone.”
School officials and others are calling on TikTok to shut down these challenges that call for violence and/or other illegal activities. So far, TikTok has not taken down the challenges.