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'Devious' Tik Tok trends force metro Detroit school districts to issue warning

Posted at 5:47 AM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 05:47:21-04

(WXYZ) — School districts across metro Detroit are warning about a new Tik Tok trend, which this month is targeting teachers.

“It is very concerning to superintendents and school district personnel,” said Dr. Glynn Maleyko, Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools. "Nothing good is going to come of it.”

The Tik Tok trend is called "devious licks" and has led to damage at schools across the country. Last month it called for kids to steal or destroy school property. This month the challenge is to slap a teacher.

“When you make a mistake, especially something on social media, a challenge or whatever it may be, a lot of times that can never go away,” Dr. Maleyko said. "What it can do is get students into a lot of trouble.”

Parents say they want to hear from schools when these trends emerge, fearing kids, will follow them.

“Yeah because they do, just look at the milk crate challenge," said Southfield A&T parent Sean Patterson. "Things become viral and then kids want to try it.”

Some districts in metro Detroit sent out emails warning of this trend. In a letter to parents from Anchor Bay schools, the district warned they would enforce school discipline and would even pursue charges against any student who slaps a teacher.

“It could end up being a simple assault which is a 93-day misdemeanor, it could be aggravated assault which could kick it up to a 2 year,” said Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido.

Lucido says those charges could impact college admissions, and that his office won’t take them lightly.

“Very serious," Lucido said. "There's no excuse for someone who’s getting up out of a chair in a classroom and walking in there and taking advantage of a teacher who’s doing their job.”

Schools say these letters are being sent now so parents can talk to their kids about consequences before they do something they’ll regret, for years to come.

“I will be speaking to my full principal meeting this Thursday we'll be talking about it, and then I'll be mentioning it at the board meeting on Monday as well publicly,” Dr. Maleyko.