Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103; Oct 7, 2021
Social Media Concerns for Preteens and Teens
Dear D103 Families,
We wanted to make you aware that users on the social media platform, TikTok, have been creating monthly harmful and unsafe ‘challenges’ for children and teens across the country. The ‘challenges’ are intended for Junior High/Middle School and High School students. We saw an unfortunate impact of this at Daniel Wright a few weeks ago with the vandalism done to our bathrooms.
Unfortunately, the October ‘challenge’ encourages students to slap a staff member and then run or flee. Users are asked to post their experience or video on TikTok. Thankfully, we have not had any incidents of this nature occur at Daniel Wright but we feel it imperative for parents to be aware of this crime. Students and their families should know that if students are found to have participated in the planning, filming, posting or slapping of a staff member, they will receive school consequences for their actions in alignment with our School Board policies regarding the use of violence and assault. Slapping a staff member is a crime and will require the involvement of Lincolnshire Police Department if an assault like this should occur.
Here is a list of the remaining TikTok challenges so that all families in our community are aware. Many of the ‘challenges’ are criminal in nature and will result in police involvement:
October: Slap a staff member
November: Kiss your friend’s girlfriend at school
December: Expose your private area
January: Jab a breast
February: Destroy school signs
March: Make a mess in the cafeteria or courtyard
April: Theft or stealing
May: Ditch school
June: Flip off the front office
Concern Over Chat App Discord
We also want to make you aware of the growing use of an app called Discord. Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app for teens and adults ages 13 and up. If your child participates in online gaming, they may have access to this app. The app is intended for teens to chat about their games and create a talk-group when they are playing a cooperative game. Teens can access Discord via their PC, browser, or mobile phone. Once in the app, they can join a chat they have been invited to or they can create private ‘servers’ or communication channels and invite their friends to play and discuss games by voice, text or video. They can also message each other individually or in group chats with up to 10 friends. Unfortunately, we are finding that children are exposed to inappropriate material, bullying, and the potential of interacting with strangers. Here is additional information on what parents need to know about the Discord app and how parents can set safety controls for their children.
We are asking families to talk with their children about Discord as well as to watch for any behaviors or social media posts that could result in harm to anyone or anything. If you, or your child, witness any harmful or potentially harmful behaviors or social media posts, they should immediately be reported to your local police department and school administration.
While we are all aware of the positive and negative effects that social media can have on our young students’ lives, we ask that our community take this opportunity for families to discuss the importance of internet safety, physical safety, mental health and using good judgement in their decision-making with their children. Please encourage them to stay resilient in their efforts to make healthy choices that will lead to positive outcomes for themselves, their family, and our school.
For additional support and guidance, consider attending the upcoming virtual presentation, Social Re-Entry: Building a Better Community by Navigating Differences and Resolving Conflict with Empathy and Respect by author Carrie Goldman. The presentation will be on Wednesday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. and is being made possible by the District 103 PTO. Please use this link to view more information and RSVP for the event, Goldman Event Flyer and RSVP.
We value our partnership with our community, we appreciate your support and attention to this matter.
Thank you and take care.
Scott Warren, Ed.D
Superintendent of D103 Schools