10/6/2021

 

Greetings Berkshire Hills Families,

I’m reaching out about a potentially serious matter that I wish I didn’t have to address at all.  This past September, school districts across the country have been struggling with vandalism concerns in connection with a TikTok challenge.  The challenge, which was in association with a hashtag “devious licks,” encouraged students to film themselves vandalizing their school bathrooms and post the videos to TikTok.  In our district, the damage has been relatively minor, but other schools in the Berkshires and across the country have suffered serious damage due to this trend.

It unfortunately appears that there is a twelve month series of challenges from devious licks, and September’s challenge of vandalizing a bathroom is one of the more innocent pranks on the list. According to the list of challenges we have received, October is “film yourself slapping a teacher” month.

While it should go without saying, these challenges are idiotic, destructive and dangerous.  Our hope is that they never happen in what we like to see as safe and supportive schools.

I urge you to discuss these challenges with your children and help them understand that these are not harmless pranks, but rather serious illegal acts that can harm the targets, and have serious consequences for the offenders.

Most of all, participating in these acts works against our sense of community, has the potential to harm individuals, creates unsafe spaces, and forces us to use resources that could be better used to support learning and growth.

Most of these challenges ask students to break the law, and several could be considered assault and battery.  While the district continues to work hard to meet students where they are, the district will not tolerate these behaviors and we will take whatever steps are necessary to put an end to participation in these challenges.  

Thank you for your partnership in helping us all treat each other the way we want to be treated.  Hopefully this fad will evaporate as quickly as it appeared.

Please reach out to me or the principals if you have any questions.  Again, thank you for your role in helping us try to sustain a safe and supportive school environment.

Peter Dillon, Superintendent