by Kate Evans
Berkeley Springs High School has experienced a few incidents that may be related to a TikTok challenge for students to steal or damage school property or school bathrooms for attention on social media.
Morgan County Schools Prevention Resource Officer Corporal Kevin Barney said that a soap dispenser and a stapler went missing last week in the Berkeley Springs High School Building A and Building B within 24 hours of the TikTok post.
There were also a couple of overflowing toilets which doesn’t usually occur, but Barney isn’t sure if they were related to the social media trend.
Schools nationwide have been dealing with vandalism and theft like soap dispensers and mirrors being removed from walls, intentionally clogged toilets, damaged sinks, tearing signs off walls and stealing small items since the TikTok “Bathroom Challenge” and “Devious Lick Challenge” began last week.
Students have made videos of their work and posted them with the corresponding hashtag. TikTok said it’s removing the videos from its site but more videos keep cropping up.
Corporal Barney said that other schools and Prevention Resource Officers at other school districts have shared stories about the stealing and vandalism that kids have done.
Barney said that if kids are stealing they will be charged criminally. The boy that took the high school stapler admitted to it and won’t be charged because he came forward, he noted.
Barney said they’re here to encourage education and to change kids, not to punish them. They want to help students learn from their mistakes.
“Kids know at that age not to steal or damage property,” he said.
Barney acknowledged it’s a national trend that’s pushing these incidents. It’s been a struggle since the beginning of the school year and it’s a new world. Kids are seeing adults doing things with no repercussions. Now they think they can do anything they want without repercussions.
“It’s a world the adults have created,” Barney said.