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Brazos Valley school districts deal with TikTok trend encouraging bathroom vandalism

Bryan, College Station, and Caldwell ISDs have all experienced problems stemming from the fad
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:57 PM CDT
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CALDWELL, Texas (KBTX) - A social media trend is causing problems for school districts across the country, and now Brazos Valley schools are dealing with it too.

It’s a viral TikTok trend called the devious lick challenge that encourages users to share their mischievous deeds. A popular target is school bathrooms, and Caldwell High School is on the long list of places that’s been hit.

“Last two weeks we’ve seen an uptick of these type of infractions,” Caldwell High School Principal Justin Turner said. “We’re now having to see this as a potential problem that we’re going to have to address to make sure we get a handle on it so it doesn’t go any further.”

Turner says Caldwell High has six bathrooms in the school, and each one of them has been hit at least once. One girls bathroom is currently closed because the covering of an automatic soap dispenser that was ripped off has exposed wiring that presents a safety hazard.

It comes with unintended consequences, too.

“Instead of being able to access the closest restroom, they’re having to travel to the other side of the school building,” Turner said. “Instead of a typical three to four-minute loss of instructional time due to taking care of your restroom needs, now we’re up to six, seven, or potentially eight minutes just because of the travel time.”

Caldwell isn’t the only local district dealing with this. Both Bryan and College Station ISDs say they experienced vandalism in some of their school bathrooms last week.

Bryan ISD issued the following statement to KBTX about the incidents:

“This latest fad through the social media site TikTok impacted schools across the country over the last few weeks. Bryan ISD saw activity last week, addressed this with our secondary students, and informed parents so they could also have conversations with their children. Vandalism is treated seriously. What may seem like a funny social media prank could have a long-lasting, negative impact on both the student and their family.”

College Station ISD echoed the same sentiment in a statement of its own:

“Like other districts across the country, CSISD has had issues with the most recent TikTok fad. Our campuses have engaged students and implemented more stringent monitoring and the frequency of occurrences is declining. These acts of vandalism not only damage the appearance of the school, but are treated seriously and come with serious consequences for those who choose to participate.”

Turner says the school is trying to end this negative trend by promoting a positive one of their own. Students get a little recognition for doing good deeds like picking up trash or helping a fellow student who’s in need.

“We have a thing called ‘Caught You Doing Something Good,’ and it’s something that we announce over the announcements,” Turner said. “We try to be as positive as we can to curtail some of the negativity that we see on social media these days. We’re trying to do everything that we can to be that louder voice so that the social media doesn’t infiltrate everything that the kids are doing here at school.”

Turner says they’re also implementing proactive and reactive measures to stop the vandalism. He says teachers have been assigned shifts to monitor the bathrooms during passing periods. He also says the school’s budget allows for monetary compensation to those who provide information that leads to an admittance of damaging school facilities.

Turner also asks that anyone who sees something reports it to administration. Whenever the school gets any information on anything on campus, it does not share student information, Turner says.

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