Absurd TikTok challenges take over WJ

Stella Hadamer

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Screenshot by Stella Hadamer

Some TikTok challenges, such as dance trends, are harmless and stay contained to the app. A problem arises when challenges spread to the “real world” and start affecting others.

The return to in-person school has shaken up many things, but teenagers’ devotion to TikTok is not one of them. After almost 16 months of isolation with social media as a constant companion, students have not let go of TikTok culture. If anything it has escalated as the playing field for challenges and trends has expanded to include school buildings and other staff and students.

The “Devious Lick” challenge was a rude awakening for staff members who had not yet experienced the power of social media trends in the hands of “clout chasing” teenagers. This challenge consisted of spraying bathrooms with Kool-Aid and stealing school property.

“I thought it was really stupid. Why would people want to take from schools for no reason, especially school bathrooms, the grossest place at school? It’s so bizarre how this became a trend,” senior Nehi Pathak said.

Many students agree that TikTok, and other social media challenges can be fun, but there’s a certain line that people shouldn’t cross. In the majority’s opinion this challenge has gone too far.

“I don’t know what people were thinking. It’s one thing to do some sort of funny harmless challenge but making janitors work harder and messing up the bathrooms is just a dick move,” junior Tomas Flores Garcia said.

The WJ administration and other school’s in the county have sent out an email containing a link to an article listing all the alleged challenges lined up for the school year. According to HITC, the source of said article, there will be a whole month dedicated to kissing your friend’s girlfriend at school and October is going to be a bad month for teachers as it is “smack a staff member” month.

“I don’t think people are truly stupid enough to partake in these sort of challenges, but it’s disheartening to see that harassment and assault are deemed funny,” senior Juliana Lange-Asschenfeldt said.

However, it seems that while these sorts of lists are disturbing, they are also over the top and not that realistic. Flashing others (challenge for December) and straight up assault (January) go a bit too far even for TikTok’s standards.

“I think [people] are right to be disturbed by the titles, though I don’t know that we need to worry about students doing these things. I don’t think the more violent aspects of the list are very realistic, though things like messing up school signs and making messes are definitely more plausible, especially if it becomes a trend on social media,” Lange-Asschenfeldt said.

At this point students will just have to wait and see what will happen. Whether people will go to such extremes remains to be seen and until then Principal Jennifer Baker implored staff members to stay vigilant.

“If you experience any issues regarding the TikTok Challenge for October…let [admin] know immediately. This will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form,” Baker wrote in an email at the beginning of the month.