New TikTok trend could lead students to suspension and a simple assault charge
From bathroom mirrors to exit signs and soap dispensers, schools across America and right here in Rapid City were hit with an uptick of vandalism and theft. All this is thanks to a TikTok challenge “Devious Licks”. Although the original challenge has dissipated, a new one is taking shape called “smack a staff member.”
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - TikTok is full of challenges, from following a specific makeup trend to trying a viral recipe. But a dangerous trend took shape last month and is creeping into October, even 2022.
From bathroom mirrors to exit signs and soap dispensers, schools across America and right here in Rapid City were hit with an uptick of vandalism and theft. All this is thanks to a TikTok challenge “Devious Licks”.
Although the original challenge has dissipated, a new one is taking shape called “smack a staff member.”
“Haven’t experienced anything like that yet,” said Matthew Hower, a school resource officer for Central High School. “I’m hoping that we don’t, obviously that would be in my mind more serious than the previous one, that’s crossing a whole other line.”
A line that, if crossed, could affect a student’s entire future.
“They would be suspended from school, that’s an assault,” continued Hower. “And then for the law enforcement side, or the legal side, that would be a simple assault charge. Depending on what the situation is, there could be an arrest made, there could be a juvenile petition made for that student to be brought to court. It could really ruin a lot of their future if they have something like that on their record.”
Although the issue hasn’t hit Central High School yet, there are more challenges going around social media including showing your private parts, messing up school signs, and ‘jab a breast’, all lined out until next July.
“Where we stop this is where we have the consequences right away,” said Hower. “This isn’t something to sit back and watch it happen. Our teachers and staff, in the building and in the district, deserve to be safe in the building and their classrooms, they don’t come to work to be assaulted.”
Students in the Rapid City Area Schools district and across the country have faced fines and even arrest, for what Hower believes is a chance to be popular online.
“I try to ask myself that quite a bit. I don’t quite understand that, but there’s a lot of pressure, a lot of social media,” said Hower. “It comes down to social media and I think a lot of kids, they thrive on having views and likes on their pages and things like that. We didn’t have that when we were younger, it’s a whole other pressure that they face.”
Hower added that a staff member has the right to protect themselves if they fear further assault or bodily harm from a student, adult, another staff member, or visitor.
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