CT superintendents, lawmakers address TikTok challenge that encourages destruction of school property

Hartford

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — School and state officials are alerting parents of a TikTok challenge that students are taking part in, which involves damaging school property.

Just two weeks after the start of the school year, New Britain Superintendent Nancy Sarra sent a letter home to families Friday, informing them of the new online challenge that encourages students to vandalize school bathrooms, classrooms, and other parts of school property.

This new trend goes by the names “devious lick challenge” and “bathroom challenge.”

The superintendent said that administrators are aware of students participating in the challenge at the middle and high schools.

Superintendent Sarra said the district hopes that TikTok will continue to monitor the platform and delete any videos and images revolving around school vandalism.

School officials encourage parents to speak to their children about the value of their education and that students should feel safe in a learning environment.

Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Fran Rabinowitz said, “I am certain, beyond belief, that the videos will be shown and the parents will be responsible for the damages …Broken mirrors, soap dispensers pulled off the walls. Toilet paper holders pulled out. And, I do know there was a smart board unscrewed and taken, fire extinguishers, etc.”

On Monday, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal was in Hartford with other local superintendents, demanding TikTok to combat videos of the ongoing trend.

“That is why I’m calling on TikTok to ban these videos, to detect them, and prevent them, and ban as well the users. Those kids who make use of its platform to encourage and indeed incite others,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal also wants TikTok to come before a Congressional hearing to describe the action it will take to make the site safer. Right now, he says the site is exploring its users simply to make more money.

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