Tik Tok: How Far Is Too Far?


Minh Le, Reporter

TikTok. A social media app that accrues about 1 billion views per day. Day after day, new trends rise and fall, some get extremely popular while others fall through the cracks. However, the recent school trends are being taken too far and have become a distraction to students and admins alike.

Starting in September, thousands of students across the globe have continued the “Devious Licks” trend where they steal something from their school, whether it was soap dispensers, masks, or even toilets themselves and post about it on TikTok.

The trend, originating on September 1st, was a video of a student pulling out a box of masks that he had stolen from his school. This trend gained 2.7 million views in 2 days, inspiring many to follow suit and create their own Tik Toks.

At first, many stole hand sanitizer, something that was an inexpensive thing to steal, but it soon escalated to more impressive items like printers, sinks, stall doors, and many more. In a tweet, one user said, “Every soap dispenser at my school has disappeared. I NEED TO WASH MY HANDS, PLEASE FIND THEM.”

Though this may have seemed like a fun trend to watch, it still contains criminal behavior that shouldn’t be replicated in any environment, whether it be in school or outside. The Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a tweet, “TikTok fails to control the spread of dangerous content. I am urging TikTok to come to CT to meet with educators and parents and commit to reforms that stop this reckless content.”

Another trend that has started to take off is the ‘Slap Your Teacher Challenge’. It’s origin occurred on September 28th, when a twitter user posted a list detailing different trends for months centered around ‘school damage’. In the month of October, the planned trend was to “Smack a staff member on the backside”.

Over the following days from this tweet, word of the “slap a teacher challenge” had spread across the web, inspiring many responses from teachers around the nation. The slap a teacher trend got tons of media coverage in the beginning of October, but no actual videos had beeen posted.

However, a video circulated around the internet of a girl beating up her high school teacher for this trend. Larrianna Jackson, a student at Covington High School, was charged with felony battery of a school teacher after she, unprovoked, assaulted her teacher which was possibly inspired by the “slap a teacher challenge”. The teacher, who was disabled, was seen to be hit by 4 devastating punches before being pushed to the ground. In a statement from the Covington Police department, “Officers learned that this violent attack by Jackson, may have been prompted by a viral social media application known as Tik Tok. Evidently users on the app have deemed it to be a challenge to damage school property and attack teachers.”

Many hurtful and damaging trends like these are what make Tik Tok dangerous for the people who follow suit. Most trends that you may see on the app might be safe but there are still some that are toxic and showcase violence that shouldn’t be reciprocated.