Thursday, October 21, 2021

Local students vandalizing schools for TikTok challenge

Northwest and Argyle ISDs recently asked families for help in stopping a recent TikTok challenge in which students vandalize and damage school property.

Last week, Northwest and Argyle ISD were dealing with student vandalism as part of the TikTok challenge called “devious licks,” in which students damage or steal school or staff property and post a recording of the result, according to a letter from NISD Superintendent Ryder Warren. Argyle Middle and High School students have destroyed soap dispensers, intentionally clogged toilets and taken items from classrooms and hallways, according to Argyle ISD.

Warren said that thousands of dollars in damage has already been done to the schools as a result of this challenge, “and those who took part in these activities this week are being held accountable for their actions.”

“Students who damage school property will face disciplinary consequences including in-school suspension, placement into an alternative school, or more severe penalties,” Warren said in the letter. “We also expect students and their families to reimburse the affected schools or staff for damaged or stolen property, including both labor and material costs.”

Lewisville ISD has had “a few isolated incidents and the principals have addressed them as necessary,” a LISD spokesperson said.

Warren said the district wants to limit disciplinary action to school-based responses, but it will work with law enforcement to press charges against students who cause significant damage. Some actions have been so severe they could result in felony charges.

“I’m asking for everyone’s help to ensure students are successful by talking with your child about good decisions and not taking part in anything so dumb that is being promoted on social media – truly our kids have to be smarter than that,” Warren said. “Thankfully, the reason we’re aware of the perpetrators of these damages is because many students are reporting those responsible because they know how wrong this is.”

Argyle ISD said the situation has improved since a letter was sent to parents on Thursday.

“The acts of vandalism and theft have decreased considerably following the concerning behavior last week,” said Dr. Telena Wright, Argyle ISD Superintendent, in the letter. “We are grateful to our parents for partnering with us by talking with their children and stressing the seriousness of these actions. We take great pride and responsibility in maintaining excellent facilities and the destruction and theft of school property will not be tolerated.”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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