September 24, 2021

Shane Phipps: TikTok is Complicit in Destroying Schools and Needs to Be Held Accountable

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Shane Phipps blogs about the most troubling new TikTok challenge.

In case you haven’t heard, there is a very disturbing trend happening on social media right now that is having a terrible impact on schools across the nation. The trend originated on TikTok, a social media site which is very popular among teens. Like any social media platform, there is good and bad on TikTok. This platform is a place where people share short video clips of various types—trendy dances—silly, funny stuff—news—public service stuff—and trendsetting challenges. Some of the current trendsetting challenges are quite literally destroying public property in schools across the nation. People are putting out videos of vandalism and theft of school property and challenging students around the country to keep it going. And an alarming number of students are taking up the challenge. This despicably senseless criminal behavior is spreading like wildfire, and it needs to be stopped—like yesterday. I’m going my issue my own challenge right here and now. My challenge goes out to school districts across the nation. TikTok needs to be held financially responsible for the damages being wrought in our schools. The company has a duty to police its content and take down these types of videos. It should also ban any users who post challenges that encourage people to do illegal activities.

The kinds of actions our students are being challenged to partake in range from minor vandalism to grand theft.

Some examples:

  • Spraying the bathroom walls with red dye
  • Urinating on the bathroom floors
  • Destroying soap and paper towel dispensers
  • Clogging toilets so they overflow and flood the bathrooms
  • The stealing “un-stealable” items challenge has led to the removal of bathroom sinks and stall doors, drinking fountains, and expensive ceiling mounted LCD projectors.
  • The latest is stealing things items from teachers’ desks.

This is madness and it must stop.

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