TikTok trends have impacted school districts across the nation, leaving many school administrators frustrated. The most recent trend, known as “Devious Licks,” encourages students to participate in challenges involving acts such as violence, vandalism, and inappropriate behavior. These viral challenges can create chaos in a school district; therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential for these incidents before they occur. It is equally important for school districts to work with school staff, students, and parents to ensure that they are aware of the disciplinary actions associated with participating in these types of behaviors or engaging in these acts.
Social media trends are not necessarily new; however, when the trend involves students and school property or activities occurring on school property, school districts should also take additional steps to mitigate the associated risks such as student conflicts, school vandalism, disruption, and theft. The following is a list of guidelines school districts can use to discourage student engagement in viral trends on campuses:
- Distribute the school district’s discipline policy and code of conduct, emphasize the types of behaviors that are not acceptable
- Remind parents they could be subject to restitution payment if their student damages school property
- Encourage a positive school culture, create monthly challenges that counteract the potentially negative behavior, and increase student awareness in other areas such as bullying, mental health, or suicide prevention
- Promote positive behavior and positive reinforcement
- Review the school district’s policies on student cell phone and social media usage on campus
- Create or partner with an organization such as WeTip to give students an outlet to anonymously report potential incidents
School districts are faced with challenges and potential disruptions every day. It is important to continue to address all potential issues regardless of how small the impact may seem. For questions or additional information, please contact Risk Control.