OK, parents and other grown folk. It’s time. It’s time to get a grip on the TikTok challenge craze.
Where are the school resource officers now that schools really need them?
Schools needed them in September, when the monthly TikTok challenge was to trash school bathrooms — and post videos of the devilment online.
Schools need them in October, when students are being egged to smack a staff member.
Guess what? An 18-year-old high schooler in Louisiana apparently accepted the outrageous challenge and assaulted her 64-year-old disabled teacher, who fell out of a wheelchair after the first blow. The video captured plenty of evidence for the teen’s arrest.
The TikTok challenges encourage young people to escalate the violence.
In November, it tells them to commit a sexual assault by kissing “your friend’s girlfriend at school.” In January, it’s “jab a breast.”
School resource officers (SROs) are historically and typically considered armed law enforcers employed by police departments. They have been, as you can easily imagine, been frowned upon and defunded in recent years.
(Thank goodness the SROs weren’t defunded at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, in 2018, when a student started popping his 9mm Glock inside the school. School resource officer exchanged fire with the 17-year-old gunman, who shot himself in the head.)
The insidious challenges occurring in our schools are precisely the same devious shenanigans happening on TikTok and other social media aiming for audiences.
Do you really expect teachers and other school workers to keep their eyes simultaneously trained on COVID-19 deviants and TikTok deviants?
School resource officers don’t have to be deployed as they formerly were, following rigid federal guidelines. Indeed, officials in Alexandria, Virginia, voted Wednesday to restore the city’s SRO program because of recent violence. Smart move at the high school that’s been renamed but still knows it must “Remember the Titans.”
Sure, the debate was fiery, but authorities knew the safety of students and faculty was more important. Parents told them so.
Across the country, school districts and police are urging parents to urge their children against the TikTok challenge. Another smart move. For sure a very, very smart move.
Another smart move would be to prohibit your children from even accessing TikTok and its staggering display of challenges, including the crate challenge, during which people seriously themselves while idiots looking on were in stitches laughing.
Follow Alexandria and restore school resource officers.
Prepare our schools to challenge TikTok.
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.