Social media challenges spark issues at Holt Public Schools


FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 filer, a logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen, in Tokyo. TikTok is facing two EU data privacy investigations, one into its handling of children’s personal data and another over its data transfers to China. Ireland’s data privacy watchdog, which is TikTok’s lead regulator in the European Union, said Tuesday that it has started two inquiries to examine whether the popular short video app has breached stringent EU data privacy regulations. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

HOLT, Mich. (WLNS) — Holt Public Schools (HPS) released a public letter informing the community of the negative impacts that social media is having on their school, staff, students and learning.

The school talked about how the current TikTok challenges on social media are affecting the learning community financially and now threatening the safety of staff.

Holt Public Schools released the following statement:

“Last month, the challenge was to vandalize and steal from our schools. This month the challenge includes taking a video of a student slapping a staff member. These behaviors are not funny, acceptable or appropriate. Additionally, it is concerning that these challenges are escalating to physical violence and aggression.”

In September, the district spent approximately $5,000 to $10,000 replacing and maintaining hand sanitizer dispensers, soap dispensers, bathroom mirrors and more.

The school is reminding students that these funds could have been utilized to benefit the school and destruction incidents like this take away from overall productivity.

“We need to continue to support the hygiene, safety and welfare of all people in HPS,” HPS said in the statement.

The school is encouraging students to make good choices regarding their actions.

“Students we implore you to make the right choice and move away from the TikTok challenge. These are incredibly destructive behaviors. We must collectively rise above these decisions as these actions are entirely unacceptable.” HPS said in the statement.

The school is also advising students, if they see harmful behavior, to report it or say something to the individual to end the behavior.

Since 2017, Holt public has had a hotline where members of the learning community can call to share concerns and report bullying, discrimination and assaults. The hotline number is (517)-699-STOP (7867) or OK2Say at (855)-565-2729 if you think someone is making plans to assault a staff member or vandalize the school.

“There will be severe consequences for any student who assaults an educator. Our educators are doing whatever it takes each day to make a difference and your help is crucial.” HPS said in the statement.

Holt Public Schools is also calling out to parents for help.

“I need your help. I ask that you have discussions with your student(s) regarding these actions and possible consequences.” HPS said in the statment.

Holt strongly advises the students to stay away from harmful challenges such as the one’s on TikTok.

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