A wave of vandalism in B.C. schools incited by a challenge posted on TikTok, also descended on Central Okanagan last week.
Kevin Kaardal, superintendent/CEO for Central Okanagan Public Schools, confirmed local middle and secondary schools were caught up in the social media vandalism craze.
The viral video challenge, which has since been taken down by TikTok, encouraged students to vandalize or steal something from their school washrooms and post a video of it.
“We had experienced some concerns with the (TikTok challenge) and we are addressing it both with the RCMP and our school administration staff,” Kaardal said.
He characterized the incidents like vandalism, but not theft, in various middle and senior secondary schools across the district, noting the vandalism did involve the removal of such things as soap dispensers.
“We are working on a strategy to end this and will address those engaged in this vandalism process through our existing disciplinary process,” Kaardal added.
“We hope to be able to stop the vandalism.”
Across the province, other school districts dealt with the same washroom vandalism problem to varying degrees.
For example, three Chilliwack schools reported 42 soap dispensers and three toilet-paper dispensers were ripped from washroom walls over a two-day period last week, leaving the school district there scrambling to replace the equipment at a time of heightened public health measures called for under the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines set by the provincial health officer.
In response to the social media challenge, TikTok’s communication team issued the following Tweet: “We expect our community to create responsibly – online and IRL.
“We’re removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behaviour. Please be kind to your schools & teachers.”
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