challenge TikTok leaves central schools vandalized | New
MONMOUTH / INDEPENDENCE – Just two weeks after the start of the new school year with students finally back in classrooms, administrators are asking parents for help in ending a disturbing social media trend that leaves campus buildings vandalized. A national trend on social media platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat is making young people copy “challenges.” According to the principal of Talmadge Middle School, Perry LaBounty, students in the central school district took part in the final challenge, “sneaky lick,” urban slang for a successful robbery.
“This current TikTok trend is where users film themselves taking allegedly stolen school supplies out of their backpacks with a variation of the phrase ‘the first day of school gave a sly lick. “. It has also evolved to include vandalism without theft of objects,” LaBounty wrote to parents last week.
The ‘sneaky lick’ challenge escalated to encourage students to steal items on their campus like soap dispensers, toilet paper holders, microscopes, signs, a box of hand sanitizer and more , all with the same sound. LaBounty said the administration has heard that this trend is now also spreading outside of schools, into stores, theaters and more.
In an effort to surpass previous posts, challenge participants across the county have stepped up to destroy restrooms and steal more expensive school supplies, like televisions and computers.
In the first two weeks of Talmadge’s opening, around eight soap dispensers were ripped from the wall, LaBounty said. Some teachers’ keys are also missing. He added that although the dispensers are replaceable, it is a costly expense and slows down handwashing efforts for COVID-19 safety protocols.
“For Talmadge Middle School and our district, replacing these items is very expensive and takes up valuable time away from other priorities,” LaBounty wrote. “Beyond that, our team of custodians work very hard to serve our students for in-person learning and keep our campuses clean and safe; especially with the increased risks of COVID-19.
TikTok itself has taken action by removing these challenge videos from its platform. When someone searches for the Sneaky Lick challenge, they are instead referred to the site’s community standards page.
However, LaBounty said his staff have seen the challenges appear under a different name on TikTok and other platforms before. That’s why he said they’ve enlisted the help of parents to help end the trend.
“If your child uses social media, talk to them about their social responsibility and kindness; this “challenge” is criminal behavior, not an innocent prank, and theft and vandalism have school consequences, ”LaBounty wrote.
“Even if your child doesn’t have social media, they are likely to hear about this disturbing trend. Let’s work together to end this now. We call on the entire Talmadge community to partner with us to eliminate this behavior on our campus. LaBounty continued. “If you have any information or questions about these incidents, please do not hesitate to contact me. We look forward to your continued partnership and support for our Talmadge Cougars; we are better together! “
LaBounty said if a student is caught participating in a challenge that results in vandalism, rather than evicting the offender, the student’s family will be held responsible for absorbing the cost.
“Our goal is to always keep students in school and to help them make better decisions, to change their behavior,” he said.
LaBounty encourages students who may know who participated in the challenge to call the regular school phone line, typically used to report abuse or bullying,
“We all have to work together. We are delighted to have children back in school, to keep moving forward, ”he said. “It has an impact on safety at school. That’s why we sent (the letter) to all parents. We ask for their support to help us keep the children here and safe. “