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Local school districts threaten felony charges over TikTok challenge

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.


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