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TikTok Challenge Warning

Dear Lowell Public Schools Families,

As you may have heard, a series of harmful and disturbing “challenges” for students has been trending across the country through TikTok, a video-sharing social media app that is popular among school-aged children. On this social media app, students are being encouraged to record and publicly post videos of themselves engaging in destructive, dangerous and in some cases criminal behaviors.

At the beginning of the school year, one such challenge named “devious licks” involved vandalism and destruction of school property such as ripping soap dispensers and other items from school bathroom walls. Other challenges listed for different months include serious offenses such as slapping teachers or staff, publicly exposing one’s genitals, or engaging in non-consensual kissing and touching.

Lowell Public Schools is committed to ensuring safe and respectful school environments for all of our students, teachers, and staff. Acts as outlined in these TikTok challenges will not be tolerated. These acts violate school rules and the law as outlined in our Parent and Student Handbooks.  Any students found to be participating in these acts can face serious disciplinary consequences from the school.  This includes but is not limited to possible suspension or expulsion, as well as possible criminal charges.

We are sharing this information with families and our school community to request your partnership in engaging your children in important conversations around appropriate use of social media and of the ramifications of engaging in some of the challenges that are being presented by these challenges.  They violate our school learning environments and, in some cases, may have legal consequences for physical or sexual assault and destruction of property.

We recognize that social media can be a great way for students to connect with peers and express their creativity. However, it also can encourage poor decision making and lead to actions that could affect them negatively for many years to come. We appreciate your assistance in talking with your children and reinforcing these messages which we are also proactively addressing at schools so that our students don’t fall prey to negative and harmful social media influences.