STUART – Since mid-September, Florida schools have been under the gun of vandals from within. According to Frank Frangella, Martin County School District's director of safety and security, every elementary and high school in the country has been vandalized by students as part of a destructive Tik Tok challenge called "devious licks."
Citrus County, Broward County, Pasco County, Marion County, Seminole County and others have reported bathrooms destroyed. Sinks, toilets, urinals, soap dispensers, even stall doors ripped from the walls to get "likes" on Tik Tok. Tik Tok has blocked the hashtag and banned users who post videos, but that doesn't change the severe consequences for participating students.
MCSD provided parents with Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran's stern statement addressing the issue Monday, Oct. 11 via the school district's new mobile app.
"Florida is committed to the safety of its schools, including the safety of students, school and district staff, and administrators," Corcoran said. "Unfortunately, some students are engaging in online "challenges" posted on Tik Tok sites, which encourage students to take part in vandalism, theft, harassment battery and other totally inappropriate activities."
The commissioner continued that the actions of those students showed no respect for their school, fellow students, or teachers. He implored parents, grandparents and guardians to "talk frankly with their children and explain the serious consequences of these actions."
Corcoran also requested students and parents to embrace vigilance and report any suspicious activities in response to these "challenges" to school leadership. The commissioner made it clear that students found participating or that have participated in these harmful Tik Tok Challenges "risk severe punishment according to the school's Code of Student Conduct or arrest and prosecution by law enforcement."
The commissioner concluded with a hope that students would realize the destructive and vicious nature of these actions and will make the right choice and not participate in this type of destruction.
MCSD stressed the importance of the "see something, say something" rule within the component of safety plans. Students, parents and community members can submit tips 24/7 to the school district safety team and local law enforcement via the FortifyFL platform.