MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Grand Strand and Pee Dee area school districts say they haven’t encountered any major issues with students participating in challenges from the social-media app TicTok that encourage vandalism and violence, but if they do there will be consequences.
Among districts contacted by News13, only one – Florence School District 2 – reported minor vandalism in school restrooms from September’s “Devious Licks” challenge, which encouraged students to vandalize school property.
Superintendent Neal Vincent said the district has not had any problems associated with the most recent “Slap a Teacher” challenge, which is going on in October. He added that the TikTok issue was addressed in a message to parents in September.
“Administrators in FSD2 have become aware of a new Tik-Tok trend entitled ‘Devious Licks,’ ” the message said. “With this trend, students are encouraged to video themselves (or have someone video them) stealing items from school and vandalizing the restrooms. This type of inappropriate behavior in our schools will not be tolerated. This behavior does not exemplify the true Raider Spirit, nor does it display the pride that we take in our schools. With that being said, any type of vandalism to facilities will be treated as a level three offense which could result in a 10 day suspension with a recommendation for expulsion. It is our desire to be good stewards of our time and resources and not have to spend either dealing with vandalism and its aftermath. We would ask that you please speak to your children and assist us in this endeavor.”
Horry County School released a statement Monday with the same message. Any student caught taking part in such behavior will be held accountable.
“At this time, we have not seen any incidents related to the new challenge and hope we never will. If a student is to participate in this challenge or any other challenge in the future, they will be subject to discipline, which may include suspension, expulsion, removal from extracurricular activities/sports in addition to legal implications. Whether they’re the person that’s doing the challenge or videoing it, we will hold students accountable on every spectrum, whether they’re an accomplice or the actual person committing the crime. We ask parents to talk to their children about good decision-making, monitor their social media activity, and help us emphasize the importance of respect and responsibility.”
In an email statement, Glen Burnette II, the chief communications officer for Robeson County Public Schools, said administrators are aware of the “challenge that encourages students to slap their teachers or other employees of the school during the month of October.” Any student caught taking part in the challenge could face assault charges, he said.
“If this does occur in our school district, it will be treated as an assault and the proper authorities will be notified to charge the student,” he said. “We also want our teachers and staff to know they have the right to defend themselves if something were to happen to them.”
Dr. Gregory McCord, Superintendent of Marlboro County Schools, said the district has taken steps to address the issue despite not having any problems so far.
“Our administrative team proactively speaks to students regarding such issues and thankfully, our kids listen,” he said.
The superintendents of both Dillon District 3 and District 4 also said they have not had any problems related to the challenges in their schools.