Suburban schools brace for new TikTok challenges to smack or slap staff members

  • Suburban schools are warning against challenges posed on the TikTok app.

    Suburban schools are warning against challenges posed on the TikTok app. Associated press

Updated 10/1/2021 6:20 AM

Suburban school leaders are warning of yet another TikTok challenge on social media asking students to "smack a staff member on the backside" or "slap a teacher" and post a video during the month of October.

This comes on the heels of a viral TikTok challenge asking students to vandalize and destroy school property.


"Police are warning students these viral TikToks are much more than just challenges. They are criminal offenses as some of these challenges are bordering on assault," wrote Melissa Couch, principal of Crone Middle School in Naperville, in a message to parents.

Couch asked parents to talk to their children about the seriousness of these challenges and why they are not appropriate for school.

"Any student who chooses to carry out any of these challenges at school will be subject to school and police consequences," she wrote.

Last month, suburban schools were hit with the "devious licks" challenge, which encouraged kids to steal or damage school property and then anonymously share a video or photo of it with the hashtag #deviouslicks.

Nationwide, some students faced criminal charges for their antics, including stealing items, such as soap dispensers, fire extinguishers, computers or film projectors, and vandalizing bathrooms. TikTok removed video content related to that challenge, but users started posting with alternative hashtags and keywords.

Across the suburbs, Palatine-Schaumburg Township High School District 211, Libertyville-Vernon Hills High School District 128, Des Plaines Elementary District 62, and Huntley Community School District 158 reported numerous cases of vandalism of school bathrooms, mirrors, soap and paper towel dispensers and toilets.

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