Austonia daily newsletter—direct to your inbox 6 a.m.

become a member

A new TikTok challenge is being discussed at local school districts. (File photo)

After the "devious licks" challenge on TikTok left Austin ISD threatening to close restrooms for vandalism costs, local school districts are preparing for a new viral trend: the "slap a staff member" challenge.

The challenge is exactly what it sounds like—students are recorded walking up to a teacher or staff member and hitting them to post on TikTok. AISD officials sent a letter to parents yesterday asking they talk to their kids but said they are prepared.

"No one deserves to be assaulted for a social media challenge, much less our teachers, who have an important job to do and have earned our respect," the district said.

The district said it is planning on taking immediate action by educating students about the consequences of the challenge rather than waiting until it has happened. After the previous challenge, which encouraged students to steal items from school, the district is grappling with damage caused in bathrooms in every district middle school.

Round Rock ISD, which saw more than $10,000 in damage due to the devious licks challenge, warned parents and students that slapping a staff member is a third-degree felony—assault on a public servant.

"We are asking our parents and guardians to please have conversations with your students (and encourage students to have conversations with their peers) about the disruptive nature of these challenges and the disciplinary consequences and potential criminal charges that could result," RRISD said in an email last week.

After the devious licks challenge went viral, TikTok removed content with mention of #deviouslicks and community guidelines say it does not tolerate content that "promotes or enables criminal activities." With TikTok trends changing at the drop of a hat, AISD said it has become aware of challenges changing monthly.

Searching about either challenge on the app will lead you to this page:

"The bottom line: We're here for your students, and that means enforcing the rules when necessary," AISD said.


If the FDA approves emergency use authorization of its COVID vaccine for kids, those 5 years and older will all be eligible for a shot. (Pexels)

The Food and Drug Administration will consider Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine application for emergency use authorization in 5-to-11-year-olds on Tuesday. The vaccine will likely be available to kids starting next week.

Keep Reading Show less

Tesla stock capped at $1 trillion for the first time after a sale of 100,000 electric cars. (Tesla)

Tesla is officially in with the big guns.

After Hertz Global Holdings Inc. placed an order of 100,000 Teslas—the biggest single electric car purchase ever—Tesla officially hit the $1 trillion market cap for the first time.

Keep Reading Show less

Northwest Arkansas is urging Austinites to move once again with a free one-way ticket giveaway. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

While Northwest Arkansas isn't exactly looking to be a breakfast taco-loving, live music-having tech hub, it is branding itself as the Austin of yesteryear. And who better to come to the quickly-growing paradise than Austinites themselves?

Keep Reading Show less