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Valley schools warning parents of viral TikTok challenge encouraging theft, vandalism

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 20:20:02-04

PHOENIX — Several Valley schools are warning parents about a viral "challenge" on TikTok urging kids to damage or steal items from their schools.

Officials with the Tempe Union High School District say last week there was a string of vandalism in school bathrooms connected to the challenge.

"As a result, bathroom access was temporarily limited on affected campuses, so that security or other staff members could monitor and react to any further incidents. We are disappointed that this is the case, but it is the best solution to this kind of behavior," the district said in a letter to parents.

Hamilton High School sent a letter home to families which says damage has been caused to the school's campus.

"Damaging school property is a felony. If a student is caught destroying and or defacing our campus, there will be a school suspension, full restitution and a police report," Hamilton High School officials said in a letter.

The letter goes on to urge parents to have conversations about the behavior that has taken place on campus.

Mesa Public Schools (MPS) echoed those statements in a letter sent home to parents.

"Please know that consequences for stealing or destroying school property are severe, and can include expulsion and police involvement," MPS officials said.

The American Leadership Academy also sent a letter to parents saying students caught stealing will have charges filed against them.

ABC15 has reached out to local law enforcement for any instances of students being charged for these acts. So far no information has been provided.