Students at multiple Bay Area schools vandalizing bathrooms after TikTok challenge

The TikTok trend involves kids vandalizing bathrooms in their schools so badly, some are being closed.

J.R. Stone Image
Friday, September 17, 2021
Bay Area students vandalizing bathrooms after TikTok challenge
The TikTok trend involves kids vandalizing bathrooms in their schools so badly, some are being closed.

A TikTok bathroom challenge trend is taking shape at several Bay Area schools.

The trend involves kids vandalizing bathrooms in their school. The damage done is so bad, that many bathrooms may soon be off limits if they aren't already.

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Pictures retrieved by ABC7 News show a school bathroom stall in a Bay Area middle school, vandalized with toilet paper rolled all over the floor and dropped in the toilet. Sadly school staff in multiple districts say this is part of an online TikTok bathroom challenge trend.

"The kids are destroying the bathrooms, the soap dispensers, they're destroying stuff. They're putting tissues and soap dispensers in the toilet," says Dawnette Brenner who is a middle school instructor along the Peninsula.

Her thoughts are echoed by students like Emily Rosales, who goes to Abbott Middle School in San Mateo. She says bathrooms there have also been vandalized.

"My teachers keep saying they might close them because it's getting worse and worse so we might just have to go to the office if we need to go use the restroom," says Rosales.

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This isn't just happening in middle schools. High schools, and even elementary schools have their custodians working extra hours, as is the case at Independent Elementary School in Castro Valley.

"I don't think a lot of them realize at the elementary school level that they are vandalizing, they just think they're doing something funny because they saw it on Tiktok," says Paula Merrigan who teaches at Independent.

One picture we obtained shows a replacement soap dispenser where the previous one was ripped off the wall. Another picture shows a toilet that was covered in ketchup. We also know of cases in San Ramon and in Dublin at Wells Middle School, where many bathrooms are now closed.

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We reached out to TikTok to see if any action has been taken against users posting bathroom challenge videos.

"We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities," a TikTok spokesperson said. "We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior."

Brenner is hopeful that parents will talk to their kids like she talked to her class this week.

"I had conversation and I made it personal, I said 'hey if this was happening and your father or uncle or brother had to clean this up how would you feel?'" said Brenner. She says the next day two students confessed to one of three incidents her school has dealt with in the last two weeks.