Up to six Warren-area students reportedly face criminal vandalism charges after a spree of "TikTok challenge" pranks, and another 20 face disciplinary reviews that could bring suspension or expulsion.
"There is a current trend on the social media app TikTok, challenging students to video record themselves destroying school property and posting it on the site," says a statement from Superintendent Robert Livernois of Warren Consolidated Schools. "Recently, we have had students ripping soap and paper towel dispensers off the walls in some of our newly renovated bathrooms. ... Some of the challenges are very dangerous, including hitting staff members."
Indeed, this month's "challenge for students is to smack a staff member and catch it on video," the suburban administrator tells WDIV. "Another one is to make a mess in the cafeteria."
At least one incident happens daily in the Macomb district's six middle schools, the station adds. Paula Tutman quotes Livernois:
"Some of our principals have gone so far as to require students to sign in and out of the restroom, and then in between restroom use they are inspecting the restroom to make sure that particular student did not do any damage."
In his open letter to parents, the superintendent says:
"Review with your children the seriousness of participating in these challenges, as there will be severe disciplinary consequences and criminal implications. Also, please share with them that everything posted on social media is traceable back to the owner of the cell phone, which already has caused significant hardships for some of our parents.
"Together we can model for our children good, respectful behavior on social media that will help them stay out of trouble."