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West Fargo school leaders warn new TikTok challenge promotes sexually assaulting school staff

The new social media challenge could land your child in jail, and follow them for the rest of their lives.

WEST FARGO — From making music videos, to the latest trends, the app TikTok has become a fascination, especially for high school students.

"I use it for a lot of cooking recipes," said West Fargo High School student Isabella Mathis.

The latest trend on TikTok is a monthly challenge. In September, the "Devious Licks" challenge was to steal something from school like a soap dispenser.

"It's gotten out of hand for sure," said West Fargo High School student Eva Gion.

"We are stooping to a really low level. That really put major challenges in front of schools and districts to deal with," said Sheyenne High School principal Ryan Salisbury.

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It got so out of hand across the country, TikTok took all the videos down. Not before nearly $1,000 in damages was reported at Sheyenne High School. Students have been charged. Administrators say "days" were spent reviewing TikToks to see who was responsible.

"We aren't in classrooms, we are not out in the hallways positively interacting with students, it just derails the point of us being here," said Salisbury.

The new challenge for October encourages students to touch a school employee on the backside prompting a warning from West Fargo police.

"You could face legal charges as serious as sexual assault which could lead to having to register as a sex offender," said West Fargo police in a video posted on Facebook.

Sheyenne High School sent out a district-wide email asking parents to talk with their kids about TikTok and for other students to talk with their classmates about the dangers.

"Our kids are better than this," said Salisbury.

West Fargo students hope their classmates rise to this challenge, and stop the illegal behavior.

"Anybody who is doing it should stop," said Mathis.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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