TAMPA, Fla. — From TikTok Challenges like trashing bathrooms and slapping teachers to social media bullying and threats, the outlets for kids to get popular from bad behavior and being just plain mean are endless.
This week, the Hillsborough County School District is telling parents to tell their kids, knock it off or there will be consequences.
What You Need To Know
- "Social media challenges" highlight bad behavior like trashing bathrooms, slapping teachers, and social media bullying and threats
- Hillsborough has seen a spike in violence and disruptions due to these challenges from sites like TikTok
- The district is asking parents to get invovled and tell their kids to knock it off or face the consequences
- The district is also asking schools to highlight positive behavior on social media, like helping the community
"We have to reclaim the dinner table and have conversations every evening about not only what is going on instructionally, but what is going on in our student's life and how social media is playing an impact," said Addison Davis, Superintendent of Hillsborough Schools.
Hillsborough County, like other districts, is seeing an expected spike in violence and disruptions coming out of the pandemic, courtesy of students learning from home for months last school year.
Social Media has been a driver of that trend.
TikTok is a big culprit, with challenges to record video of damage to schools and outright, unprovoked violence against teachers with a "slap your teacher" challenge.
In a letter to parents this week, the school district says students participating in those and other disruptive behaviors are subject to a change of school, 10 days out of school suspension, or possible expulsion.
"The biggest thing for us is just to be consistent with our approach," Superintendent Davis said. Making certain that we are visible, accessible to our students to address undesired behaviors, and really focus on positive behavior supports intervention."
That means the district wants its schools to highlight positive behavior on social media, like helping the community.
The district is encouraging parents to be involved with their kids' online presence and regularly check their accounts.