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‘Ludicrous’: Mon County schools seeing widespread vandalisms

Monongalia County Superintendent of Schools Eddie Campbell says the current challenge is to vandalize school bathrooms.
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 11:12 AM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Like many across the country, schools in Monongalia County are dealing with vandalisms inspired by a social media trend.

The so-called ‘devious licks’ challenges, popular on the TikTok app, encourage students to perform and record various challenges.

Monongalia County Superintendent of Schools Eddie Campbell says the current challenge is to vandalize school bathrooms.

Campbell says the vandalisms have been widespread across middle and high schools, with “pretty significant damage at South Middle School.”

While he couldn’t put an exact figure on it, Campbell told 5 News costs to replace damaged equipment - ranging from soap and paper towel dispensers to sinks and stalls - has been significant.

“We’re looking at price tags in the tens-of-thousands at this time,” he said.

Campbell says the district has been forced to pull maintenance staff off of other projects to repair the damaged bathrooms. He says it’s been a top priority, but they can’t always keep up.

South Middle School, for example, was forced to schedule class bathroom groups to just two restrooms - one for males and one for females.

“That to me is just ludicrous,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he’s been made aware that there may be different “challenges” each month. There have been reports of school staff being assaulted by students in an apparent ‘slap a teacher’ challenge.

Campbell said that hasn’t been seen in Mon County, but warned that such actions could carry significant consequences.

“These can be life-altering consequences for students,” he said.

Messages have been sent at both the district and school level to encourage parents to talk with their children about these challenges.

While it’s not on the agenda, Campbell said the topic could be discussed at Tuesday night’s board of education meeting.

Mon County isn’t the only area school system experiencing this. Watch the video above to learn how it has impacted Harrison County as well.

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