Department of Education Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi sent out a letter last week to parents warning about harmful TikTok challenges happening in schools.
“The latest trend on the social media platform encourages students to participate in monthly ‘challenges’ involving vandalism, violence and other inappropriate behavior while at school,” the letter says.
A number of schools in Hawaii have already experienced behavior associated with these challenges, most notably the “devious lick” challenge which dares students to make huge messes in school bathrooms and/or steal items from school. I had a trash can go missing from my classroom last month, a truly devastating casualty for kids who yell “Kobe!” when disposing of crumpled-up papers.
TikTok has since banned videos associated with the devious lick challenge, and while lists of other supposed challenges have circulated online, there is reason to believe they are not actually intended to be put into action so much as rile up the “kids these days” crowd. Fittingly, the Wikipedia entry for devious licks includes a link to the page for “moral panic” as a related topic.
Still, local schools have reported an uptick in theft and vandalism recently, much of which is not as harmless as my missing trash can…Like