Schools superintendent makes it clear: Social media challenges involving assault won't be tolerated
SAN FRANCISCO - We've seen the story about the the trending social media challenge, known as "devious licks" on TikTok. Now some kids have apparently moved on to the next thing. San Francisco schools is already showing zero tolerance for such antics.
At least a couple of Bay Area school districts had confirmed they were experiencing some problems with students participating in the challenge that asks them to vandalize school property or post about items they've stolen from school.
If that was not alarming enough, San Francisco schools superintendent has gotten wind of a spinoff challenge of sorts – this one involving the assault of teachers. And he's ready for disciplinary action if need be.
In a letter issued on Wednesday to the San Francisco Unified School District community and its families, schools Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews says the new challenge for October is to, "smack a staff member on the backside."
Matthews is quick to condemn this potential act, just short of calling it an assault. He opens his letter by saying he doesn't like to bring attention to negative trends on social media, but wants parents to have conversations with their children on these troubling trends.
"I want to make sure students are clear that ‘smacking’ a school staff member is a violation of the California Education Code, District Board Policy, District Administrative Regulations, and the SFUSD code of student conduct. Committing such an act could result in discipline, including but not limited to, suspension or expulsion," Matthews said in his letter. "There is nothing playful about touching someone in a way that violates their personal space."
And it's not just parents' responsibility. Matthews explains SFUSD teaches students digital agency and how to conduct themselves on social media and in online environments as part of the school system's curriculum.
It remains to be seen if the latest challenge takes off locally and whether or not TikTok has plans to step in to prevent violence from going viral.