OGDEN – As if the threat of COVID-19 or daily education efforts weren’t enough, Weber County school officials have another problem to face – the popular ‘sneak lick’ challenge on TikTok, the social media platform.
It is a national trend – or, for school officials, a scourge – and the director of Mount Ogden High School sent a message to parents this week, asking for their help in dealing with the issue. TikTok, too, appears to be repressing the trend, according to Initiated, an online media.
“We need your help,” read the message from MOJHS Director Cynthia Smith sent Wednesday. The challenge “is wreaking havoc at Mount Ogden High School, as well as other schools in our area.”
The goal of those taking part in the challenge – mostly teenage students – is to swipe something from their school and then post a video of the transport or the action on TikTok.
“This mostly happens in the bathrooms, where there are no security cameras, and the students ripped sinks from the wall, ripped off all the soap dispensers, threw liquid soap on the floors and walls. , thrown trash on floors, and a lot of other similar mess, ”Smith said in her post. “The students recently launched this ‘challenge’ in the classroom, where they take books and other items with them. “
Videos on TikTok showed an apparent participant in the Utah challenge with a fire alarm, exit sign and more. Other videos – distinguishable by the meme music associated with the trend – showed apparent attendees with keys and automatic hand dryers.
Jer Bates, spokesperson for Ogden School District, said that “more than one high school” in the district reported problems with this trend. “This is a clear and unfortunate example of the vulnerability of young people to the potentially negative influence of social media,” he said.
Ogden’s schools, however, are hardly alone.
Lane Findlay, spokesperson for Weber School Districtofficials said suspect the trend is wreaking havoc in their schools. “We’ve also had a few of these types of items missing this school year, and we think they may be related. Our conservation supervisor actually sent out something this week asking all of our custodians to pay more attention to this stuff, ”he said.
United States today and other media, meanwhile, have reported that schools in California, Virginia and Florida, among others, have addressed the issue.
A representative from TikTok told Insider that in light of the trend, the social media platform is taking action to crack down, the outlet reported on Wednesday. “TikTok removes hashtags and redirects research related to a tendency for students to steal from their schools because the behavior violates community guidelines,” Insider reported.
In his post, Smith said most students at Mount Ogden are respectful. She asked parents to tell their children about it.
“Schools have no authority and no way to monitor student social media activity,” Bates added. “We implore parents to be actively involved in their children’s social media activity and to take responsibility for talking with their children about the right choices.”
But officials from the Ogden and Weber school districts have indicated they will take a potentially strong approach to address the issue.
“Those who are involved will suffer the consequences. Theft and vandalism aren’t just a violation of school rules, they also break the law, ”Smith said.
Findlay issued a similar message. “If students are caught removing these items from school property, not only will they face disciplinary action from the school, but also potential criminal charges,” he said. he declares.