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Officials warn illegal TikTok challenges will continue

TikTok to limit premature claims of victory on Election Day
Posted at 1:10 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 15:14:53-04

IDAHO — Officials are expecting TikTok challenges in K-12 schools to continue and warning there may be legal consequences for students who participate.

A few weeks ago, we told you about a TikTok challenge where students filmed themselves vandalizing school bathrooms. Schools around the Treasure Valley dealt with this vandalism, even having to close their bathrooms to put a stop to it.

West Ada School District shared a video of soap missing from the dispensers, the toilets clogged and toilet paper missing.

The School Resource Officer for Columbia High School in Nampa, Officer Bradley Workman said the trend hit his school too, with similar acts of vandalism.

“Soap dispensers and paper towel holders being ripped off the wall,” he said.

A list circulated on social media showing supposed trends for the coming months. According to the list, October's challenge is “smack a staff member.”

“The consequences could be…range from everything from school consequences all the way up to kids going to juvenile detention,” Workman said.

Workman said they did catch some students who participated in the vandalism and they faced consequences ranging from school consequences to felony charges.

The Nampa Police Department said they have a zero-tolerance policy for these challenges and took to Facebook to get the word out. Participation in the latest challenge could lead to a battery charge.

Workman is asking for parents' help, “What we’re really asking for is parents to be involved and really know what their kids are doing on these social media platforms.”

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Wayne Pernell provides some insight on why these challenges can be appealing to teens.

He said there’s a desire to fit in and be part of a group, “As a group of “outlaws” right now there’s something special and it creates a bond. That’s the reason to do it.”

Pernell also said there’s a more mature option, “To move to, “you choose, I’ll be here. We can have differing opinions and we can even have different actions and still get along.”