TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County School District leaders issue a stern warning about the problems social media is causing on school campuses.
Superintendent Addison Davis says that at the moment the challenges on TikTok are their biggest concern.
He tells 8 On Your Side, “These challenges are causing damage to our facilities, potential damage to our employees, and to be clear, we just aren’t going to accept it.”
The superintendent said students vandalized bathrooms and tore up sinks at local schools.
This month, a challenge posted by “Devious Licks” calls on students to “slap a teacher”.
According to Davis, whether it’s violating the code of conduct or breaking the law, students will face the appropriate penalties.
“The law, if it is to be broken, we will tackle it collectively,” he said.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister echoes the Superintendent’s message in a video posted online.
“It might seem like a silly TikTok challenge, but trust me, it will have very real consequences,” Chronister said in the public service announcement.
Other Florida school districts say they face similar issues with social media challenges.
Photos released by Seminole County Public Schools show toilets torn from walls and damaged soap dispensers.
In September, 8 On Your Side reported that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrest of three high school students for damaging or stealing school property.
Hillsborough’s mother, Meagan Haynes, says she is in disbelief in the recent challenges of social media.
“They post their stuff like fights for example and it makes them like it, it’s horrible,” she describes.
The mom thinks this is the right call for the participating students to deal with the consequences.
“I think kids don’t have to have their phones at school anymore, I mean period. Look, you know 10 years ago we were berated if we had phones in school, ”Haynes said.