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Troubling TikTok trends being seen across schools could lead to some big consequences

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - “Slap a Teacher” and the “Devious Licks” challenges are both the latest TikTok trends being seen across schools nation-wide.

What simply starts out as children scrolling though their social media has turned to partaking in troubling trends, which could get them in trouble with law enforcement.

The “Devious Licks” challenge has led to theft and vandalism in schools, including Amarillo Independent School District schools.

The district said in a statement,

“With regard to the so-called “devious lick” TikTok challenge, various secondary campuses have been the unfortunate targets. While acts of vandalism aren’t necessarily uncommon, each incident at a school results in needless and sometimes costly repairs. This particular challenge serves as an opportunity for parents to talk with their kids about how actions affect others, even when taking part in what may seem like a harmless social media prank,” said AISD.

Another trend going viral on TikTok is “Slap a Teacher”, where it is calling students to slap their teachers.

Amarillo Police Department says partaking in these challenges will lead to major consequences.

“Anytime that you assault a teacher that’s assault of a public servant and in Texas it’s a felony whether you’re a child or adult you’re going to be charged with a felony if that happens you will be arrested,” said Jeb Hilton, public information officer, APD.

They say with any of the trends they have officers who will co-investigate with the school district and if charges can be filed, they will do so.

Hilton says children are going to be children, but with these troubling trends they need to know there are consequences.

“Nobody is asking you not to be a kid, we want you to have fun, we want you to do things that kids are going to do, but assaulting somebody, stealing things is not something you’re going to get away with,” said Hilton.

One Amarillo licensed professional counselor says children and teenagers tend to know better, but at that age the part of their brain that has to do with moral reasoning, abstract thinking ans clear judgement is not fully formed.

“So even at that age they can know that something’s not right, but they still get swept away in peer pressure and fame and notoriety on TikTok instead of the things that they know they should be doing,” said Jacqueline Flynt.

She says it is important for parents to communicate and listen with their children about these trends.

“Just start asking them about the challenges and about TikTok and about their social media use and what they’ve seen other people doing, not going into it assuming that they are acting out or that they’re participating in this, but just trying to get a feel for what they’re doing, what they believe what they think about it,” said Flynt.

Talking about the consequences of these different actions she says can help them understand how this is not OK.

“They won’t always understand, well you shouldn’t do that because it’s just wrong, but they will understand if you do this you will get in legal trouble, you will get in school trouble,” said Flynt.

She also mentions the fact how things posted on social media do not go away and when children grow up and look for jobs these videos can resurface.

Flynt says it is important to come up with your own guidelines as a household and to make sure both parties understand clearly what is OK and what is not and what the consequences are.

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