Shippensburg superintendent responds to concerns about destructive TikTok challenge

Local

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A destructive TikTok challenge has been causing issues in the Shippensburg Area School District.

It’s a challenge called ‘Devious Licks’ that encourages kids to vandalize their school bathrooms and post the video of it to TikTok. It’s been happening at Shippensburg Middle School for the past few weeks.

Superintendent Dr. Chris Suppo says it’s a problem they’re taking seriously.

“A very small number of kids, but it has a great impact,” Suppo said. “That causes us to shut the restroom down, possibly short term to fix it or clean it. So it really affects all of the student body.”

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It escalated to the point where they started changing how they let students use the restrooms.

“What we’ve been forced to do is have students go in groups so we can have teacher supervision,” Suppo said.

The trend has some parents concerned. It was a topic that came up at Monday night’s board meeting.

“Quite frankly there’s no place for destruction of property. We simply cannot allow these things to go on and it will take all parties involved to help solve this problem,” a parent said.

A letter went out to them on Friday to let them know about the problem and how the district handled it.

“When the first time parents have been communicated with at all regarding bathroom vandalism and TikTok challenges is after the bathrooms were closed, we have a leadership problem in at least some of our schools,” another parent said.

Superintendent Suppo is defending how they did things.

“Administrative attention has to be on taking care of that crisis rather than communicating it out to parents,” Suppo said.

In order to stop the destructive TikTok challenge, he’s issuing a challenge of his own.

“I challenge parents and I ask them for their help in really recognizing that your child is involved with social media and they may be tempted to do things that they normally wouldn’t, so have those conversations with your kids,” Suppo said.

He says students involved in the vandalism have been disciplined.

District leaders are also concerned about the October version of the challenge which calls for students to slap teachers on the butt. Not only will doing that result in school discipline, but Dr. Suppo says it’s also assault and could mean involving the local police department.

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