TikTok “bathroom vandalism” challenge hitting Lincoln Public Schools

Two-thirds of Lincoln high and middle schools have had restrooms get destroyed by students.
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:13 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A new TikTok challenge is taking over social media, with kids damaging school bathrooms. It’s happening all over the country and at a handful of middle and high schools in Lincoln Public Schools.

“Imagine what it would be like for someone to come in your home and break and steal your things,” said McKenzie Ness, Lincoln High Senior.

Bathrooms are now clean, but over the past couple of weeks at schools like Lincoln High, the restrooms have been getting destroyed by students.

“It’s been a disturbing trend we’ve been working hard at to curb,” said Mark Larson, Principal at Lincoln High. He said the damage students caused included “toilet paper rolls and off soap and paper towel rolls, things like that.”

Most students say this new TikTok challenge is upsetting. One group helping clean up said they don’t find it funny at all. “Vandalizing your school isn’t cool, even if it’s for a trend,” said Lincoln High Senior Erin Swift.

It’s not just at Lincoln High, two-thirds of Lincoln’s high schools and middle schools have reported similar damage. The Lincoln East Principal sent out a message, calling it “not acceptable.” She also asked parents to remind students that this is not “the responsible and respectful behavior” they expect.

Staff at Lincoln High has decided to keep several of the bathrooms locked to minimize damage. They’ve also amped up supervision and are requiring students to sign in and out of bathrooms.

“That’s unfortunate when we have to reallocate sources not directly tied to teaching and learning,” said Larson.

Students told 10/11 they want to leave a message for students causing the damage. “Don’t let yourself be influenced by things so easily. What’s cool may not always be what’s right,” Ness said.

School leaders said there will be consequences for students when they find out who’s vandalizing the bathrooms. They’re asking parents to talk to their kids and help monitor their social media.

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