Is FFHS vandalism part of social media ‘craze?’  

By on September 20, 2021

Officials don’t think incidents relate to Tik Tok trend

First Flight High School

On Friday, Sept. 17, a false fire alarm was pulled at First Flight High School. According to Dare Schools Digital Communications Director Keith Parker, the other recent acts of vandalism at the school include damage to a door exit sign and a surveillance camera covering.

Asked if there had been an uptick in student vandalism at the High School, Parker responded via email that, “To my knowledge, there has not been a significant increase in vandalism at First Flight High School.” He also said the individual who pulled the alarm and the one who damaged the exit sign have been identified and disciplined.

But the question is whether these are just isolated incidents at the school or part of a destructive social media trend that is going viral nationally. That trend was chronicled in this Sept. 18 New York Times story that characterized the rise in high school students damaging or stealing school property and posting the videos as “Tik Tok’s latest craze.”

When the Voice asked whether the vandalism has occurred at First Flight recently could be part of that pattern, Parker responded that, “At this time, First Flight High School administrators do not have reason to believe these recent incidents are related to any national social media trends.”

But on Sept. 18, First Flight High School’s student publication, the Nighthawk News, published a prominent “commentary” that was described as a staff editorial. It directly addressed that Tik Tok craze, declaring that while “starting as a harmless, albeit amusing, TikTok, the ‘devious lick’ challenge has begun escalating far past what it was initially intended to be. Students started with stealing soap dispensers. Criminal activity, but relatively harmless. As the trend grew in popularity, more and more people were stealing items of higher value from their school, and wreaking havoc in the process.”

While not mentioning any events at First Flight High School, the editorial cautioned against furthering the trend, noting that “the only suitable solution to combat this problem is to stop encouraging the ‘devious’ behavior. If you don’t give people the dopamine rush of views and likes, chances are, they’ll stop committing these actions, we’d hope.”

Something else that occurred on Sept. 17 at First Flight High School was the circulating of an email from the school’s administration to staff stating that rather than have students continue to pick up their lunches, the nutrition staff now would be delivering them to classrooms beginning Monday, Sept. 20.

Parker stated that “the primary reason for this change” is COVID related, designed “to limit student movement during lunches to help reduce possible quarantine.” But he acknowledged that some of the impetus for the policy change had to deal with the vandalism.

“Our school administrators are aware of a national social media trend that involves students engaged in school vandalism,” the email read. “While we have not seen an increase in this trend at First Flight High School, the change in lunch policy, in addition to limiting quarantine, is also intended as a proactive measure to ensure that students continue to show respect for school facilities.”

 

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Comments

  • Bud

    Tik tok is a horrible thing and seems to only be for the dregs of society

    Monday, Sep 20 @ 12:33 pm
  • Mommabear

    Always been a Farley fan but we all know that’s a lie. There’s been a substantial increase in vandalism at all dc schools due to this tik tok crap. I know living in a resort area we down play things to make our home look more appealing but at some point we have to be truthful.

    Monday, Sep 20 @ 1:29 pm
  • Kitty Hawker

    Let me guess, the suspects in question were wearing masks….

    Monday, Sep 20 @ 2:17 pm
  • Travis

    It’s all fun and games until you become a taxpayer.

    Monday, Sep 20 @ 7:02 pm
  • R. Bo

    In 1977 I was a freshman at a small prestigious college. The amount of vandalism confounded and disgusted me. Most of my schoolmates were from very affluent families. I was not. Couldn’t understand it. Breaking stuff that others used for no reason. Too much money, not good guidance? I left that year, though my grades were fine.

    Monday, Sep 20 @ 10:53 pm
  • Arthur Pewty

    In a society where people who burn down businesses and police stations are hailed as heroes, why should kids think a little vandalism is such a bad thing?

    Tuesday, Sep 21 @ 7:40 am
  • Liz

    Years ago “the” social media place for teens was Myspace. They moved on from that long ago, to Facebook (now apparently more for parents and grandparents), Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, TikTok, and a bunch of others. Hopefully the TikTok craze will fade – and soon. (If only Twitter would do the same.) Meanwhile, the adults in the room need to pay attention to what kids are up to online! Yeah, I know, easier said than done.

    Tuesday, Sep 21 @ 9:08 am
  • hightider

    Why doesn’t anyone realize Tik Tok’s agenda? Even China admitted it, but Americans are so infatuated with social media, their brains have eroded. China developed Tik Tok to appeal to younger people in order to amass all their personal information so when they become adults – which is later and later these days, China already has a full dossier on each person – in America and elsewhere. Does anyone realize that all these “privacy-oriented” non-thinkers have provided their DNA (and that of their relatives, no matter how distant) through 23 and Me (which just cut a deal for several billion with a pharmaceutical company for your free DNA) and enough social media photos for LE to develop their own facial recognition program without a subpoena? Before you say that driver’s licenses provide the same – that is not true; only a handful of states sell the facial ID’s. So while people are arguing over their loss of “freedom” with mask/vaccine mandates, the freedom and privacy boat has already sailed.

    Tuesday, Sep 21 @ 10:24 am
  • Lucas

    Hightider,

    While I don’t agree with some of your comments, this one is pretty interesting. I used to be on facebook but have not been on any social media since 2016. Even though I am not on social media, I do think there is some value in it depending on how it is used. That being said the detriment of it is that it has created an environment where people can no longer think for themselves. The dopamine effect is stronger than peoples ability to think and do what is best for themselves. The draw for people to have “followers” or “likes” outweighs all common sense, reasoning and logic anymore. I have commented on here before about the divided society that we are living in, well social media is largely to blame for that… We are living in a different world than we were 10-15 years ago!

    Tuesday, Sep 21 @ 1:35 pm
  • surf123

    The sentence for a Class 2 misdemeanor is 1 to 60 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment, with the maximum penalty being 60 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. The sheriff needs to see charges are brought and judges punish the criminals to the fullest extent of the law. While it might be unreasonable to jail a minor, a few hundred hours of community service would put the word out that this not going to be tolerated.

    Same goes for destruction of property. Without real consequences there is no deterrent.

    Tuesday, Sep 21 @ 4:55 pm