TikTok Got You Ticked?

Dr. Scott Seaman, Executive Director, AWSP
Sep 28, 2021


TikTok collage

Believe me, we understand. The last thing you need right now is to deal with a destructive and disappointing trend among students across the country. If you haven’t heard, one of the things trending on social media giant TikTok is essentially a string of school thefts and vandalisms. It is the last thing you need on top of your already heaping plates. I’m ticked just hearing about it, so I can only imagine your frustrations.

Sarcasm alert: Is it ok to have bathrooms with no soap or paper-towel dispensers during a pandemic?

As soon as we heard about this nightmare, we went straight to top officials at the state and national levels. We shared horrific examples happening in schools and the lengths to which you all are going to respond, intervene, and prevent. This needs to be addressed immediately and within the highest ranks of influence. Even though TikTok is aware of this unfortunate trend and has taken steps to remove content and make it harder to search for, the cat is out of the bag. The sheer volume of videos posted daily by students across the country makes it nearly impossible to bring an end to this nightmare for school leaders. 

Either way, you all don’t have the luxury of sitting around waiting for support. In the meantime, here are some recommendations for this current TikTok trend and for curbing the next one.

  1. Make sure you have great relationships with your students, then lean on them for support.

  2. Engage your student leaders as partners to bring an end to the madness. Seek their ideas!

  3. Involve your student leaders in standing up against destroying school property.

  4. Identify key student leaders to help you quell the movement.

  5. Divide up your campus and have students, student groups, sport teams, grade levels, clubs, etc. sign up as “Ambassadors” or “Sponsors” in an “Adopt a Hallway” campaign.

  6. With your students, launch a “Random Acts of Kindness,” “Giving Back,” “Day of Caring,” “Be Kind” campaign urging students to take short videos of doing nice things for others. 

  7. Reach out to AWSL’s Director of Student Programs, James Layman, for help and ideas.

  8. Get a message out to your parents about...

    • Explaining what TikTok is and how it works.

    • Encouraging parents to talk to their students about having a TikTok account. 

    • Sharing with them the destructive competition happening between students on TikTok and the impact it's having on your campus.

  9. Lean on the relationships your teachers have with students to plead for common sense, unity, and doing what is right. The stronger the relationships, the better the behavior.

I’m sure there are a hundred other strategies out there that you are using and have found success with. Please share those with us so we can spread the word. We will continue to press at the state and national level for support, but until then, don’t let TikTok put you on the defensive. You can squash the movement if you work with your kids and go on the offensive.

  • social media
  • school safety
  • school safety
  • covid-19
Back To Top