Destructive Internet “Challenges” Put School Officials Under Watch in Harrison County, West Virginia | New
CLARKSBURG, Va. (WV News) – As viral trends spread across the country, prompting students to vandalize and steal school property, law enforcement and school administrators have been on call .
Social media app TikTok’s “Devious Licks” challenge sparked a contest to see who could do the most damage or steal the harder item.
An example of vandalism would be several documented cases of students ripping bathroom fixtures from walls.
“This is one thing that came from TikTok. So many kids are on Tik Tok… and they say, ‘Hey, that’s a good idea. I’ll try that “and you start ripping things up in school,” said Doug Hogue, a member of the Harrison County Board of Education with 35 years of teaching experience in Harrison County.
Two incidents were seen in Harrison County at South Harrison High School and Liberty High School, where a sink was removed from a wall.
“Schools investigated individually. We had two particular high schools that had passed the TikTok challenge, and there was vandalism in some of our bathrooms. So we treated this as we would any property vandalism,” said Dora Stutler, superintendent of Harrison County schools.
To deter vandalism, school policies are in place to hold students accountable for such cases.
“The students have been disciplined for this, and we will if we find out that they are doing something else like this,” Stutler said. “This is not acceptable and we will not allow that to happen. And we will prosecute and discipline students who do so because it destroys the property of other children.”
“If they are not held accountable for this, it will continue. If they get away with it here, it will spread throughout the county,” Hogue said.
Hogue brought up an example years ago when a student shot a ball bearing through a glass basketball backboard and the student had to pay $ 900 to replace it.
“He was a great boy and he just made a stupid mistake. Not to say these kids are bad. It’s just something they see and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to try that’,” said Hogue said.
“I just think you have to be held accountable. If you want to do this stuff and you destroy things in your school that other students have to use, you have to be held accountable,” Hogue said.
Administrators remain vigilant for additional vandalism with defined policies, including prosecution.
“Most of our kids are grown-ups, but there are always one or two who want to try and see how far they can push the boundaries.… There are consequences for their actions,” Hogue said.
“There’s a liability if you vandalize. It’s not fun and fun,” Stutler said.