Students Facing Criminal Charges for Participating in TikTok Challenge Inciting Vandalism

Students may have to pay for school property damaged in TikTok challenge.
Students Facing Criminal Charges for Participating in TikTok Challenge Inciting Vandalism

ROCK SPRINGS — Sweetwater County School District (SCSD) No. 1 officials are reporting students have already been arrested and an investigation is continuing into the $7,500 to $10,000 worth of damage done to school property that was caused from students completing a TikTok challenge.

In a ParentSquare message from Human resources director Nicole Bolton posted this afternoon, students have already been arrested and are facing possible charges and school disciplinary proceedings. These charges are related to the thefts, property damage, and vandalism that has occurred in SCSD No. 1 buildings.

All of this is stemming from a TikTok video titled “Devious Licks,” which encourages students to participate in monthly challenges to vandalize property, steal, and physically assault others, all while posting on social media.  

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The letter goes on to state that SCSD No. 1 can hold parents and students financially responsible for the damages.

“Wyoming law allows the school district to recover financial damages from the parents of any minor under the age of 17 that maliciously and willfully damages or destroys property.  Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-203(a). This remedy is in addition to any other charges against the student,” the message states.

“These acts may lead to charges in court, loss of school privileges, school disciplinary action, and suspension or expulsion from school.”

Since this Challenge goes on for months, the district is encouraging parents to continuing talking to their children about the possible consequences of their actions.

“These are not pranks, in addition to the vandalism and property destruction that has already taken place, future identified challenges involve acts that may constitute criminal assault, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, and sexual assault,” the message states.

The following is the entire message:

“Hello Sweetwater School District Number One Students, Staff, and Parents,
 
A trend on the social media app, TikTok, may result in serious trouble for students and their parents.  A video titled “Devious Licks,” encourages students to participate in monthly challenges to vandalize property, steal, and physically assault others, all while posting on social media.  

Since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, these TikTok challenges, including thefts, property damage, and vandalism, have cost Sweetwater School District Number No. 1 thousands of dollars. The total damages so far range between $7,500 to $10,000.

Already, students have been arrested and are pending charges and school disciplinary proceedings as a result of participating in these challenges, both here and around the country.  
The consequences of engaging in these challenges can be very serious. In partnership with the Rock Springs Police Department, incidents are being individually investigated.

Depending on the severity of an incident and the age of the suspect, consequences can range in severity from juvenile court proceedings, to misdemeanor charges prosecuted in municipal court that may remain on the student’s record permanently, to potential criminal felony prosecution. These acts also disrupt the daily learning environment for staff and students and will result in school disciplinary proceedings.  

Parents also need to be aware that their children’s actions can lead to financial liability for the parents.   Wyoming law allows the school district to recover financial damages from the parents of any minor under the age of 17 that maliciously and willfully damages or destroys property.  Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-203(a). This remedy is in addition to any other charges against the student.  

Parents, we want to encourage you to talk with your children about the seriousness of these social media “challenges” and the consequences that may result. These are not pranks, in addition to the vandalism and property destruction that has already taken place, future identified challenges involve acts that may constitute criminal assault, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.  

The Rock Springs Police Department and the School District want to be transparent in stating that these incidents will be treated seriously. These acts may lead to charges in court, loss of school privileges, school disciplinary action, and suspension or expulsion from school. Any student that acts as an accomplice in these TikTok challenges will be subject to the same consequences.”