Using social media for good rather than bad
Since students returned to the classroom after the summer, many teachers have witnessed mayhem, often including violence and vandalism - seemingly prompted by the TikTok school challenge.
But Broward County Public Schools are fighting back - refusing to let social media be used to encourage pupils to disrupt classes for teachers and their peers. Their efforts kicked off with a collective show of positivity at Flanagan High School earlier this month, with the band playing, cheerleaders cheering, and students spreading messages promoting kindness and pride in their schools.
The school district is keen to discourage its students from causing chaos and committing crimes and then posting videos of their endeavors on social media.
A school year of chaos - broadcast on TikTok
The October 'Smack a staff member' challenge appears on a list of disruptive monthly challenges that are currently causing havoc in schools across the country.
There's a new challenge for each month of the school year, and as you might guess none of these is in the least bit wholesome or positive. Indeed, most appear to border on inciting criminal acts.
- September's challenge was to vandalize school bathrooms
- November's is to kiss your friend's girlfriend at school
- In February, TikTok users are being encouraged to 'Mess up school signs'
Parents and educators are wondering how anyone could dream up such challenges and then broadcast them on a social media network that's so widely used by kids and young teens?
Meanwhile educators in Broward County have decided to take back social media - making sure their pupils aren't tempted to get involved in a craze that's seemingly prompted kids elsewhere to commit potentially serious crimes.
Serious assaults across the USA
Social media can be blamed for many things, and Covington Police have speculated that a recent TikTok school challenge may be behind the recent attack on a 64-year-old disabled teacher in the classroom at Covington High School.
Earlier this month a South Carolina teacher was smacked in the back of the head, prompting the school board to issue warnings to parents about the insidious craze. The TikTok Challenge has also drawn criticism and condemnation from politicians and educators across the nation.
A positive twist
Acknowledging that students won't stop using social media, the school district is encouraging its students to create and post their own videos to TikTok, but using a more positive tag: #SchoolPrideAndPeace.
Hopefully videos featuring that tag will go viral and flood TikTok with positivity!
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