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Dangerous Social Media Trend

October 6, 2021

Dear Worcester Central School Families,

As you may know social media has become a very large part of children’s everyday interaction on the Internet.  While social media can be a positive entertainment option, it does have many dangers. TikTok is one of the most widely used social media platforms among young people and has recently started a series of monthly pranks or “challenges”. These include a list of actions users are being encouraged to participate in and record that are dangerous, inappropriate, and/or illegal.

In September the TikTok challenge was to vandalize school bathrooms and destroy school property. WCS did experience a couple of instances of vandalism in our restrooms which caused inconvenience, disciplinary action, and an unnecessary expense. We have been made aware that October’s challenge is called “Smack a staff member”, and other months include touching or exposing one’s ‘private parts’, destroying school signs, and making messes or vandalizing the cafeteria and courtyards.

Thankfully the October “challenge” has not yet been reported but I want to make sure our WCS families know that this behavior has no place at WCS and will not be tolerated. I ask that you monitor your child’s social media accounts and activity, talk to them about responsible and respectful cell phone/Internet use, and discuss the serious ramifications of participating in any of these “challenges”.

The WCS Code of Conduct categorizes almost all of the “challenges” as Level 3 and Level 4 infractions which result in short or long-term out of school suspension. Any act which is considered illegal will be immediately referred to the NY State Police. The WCS Code of Conduct also states that failure to report to a teacher, administrator, or staff member the plans or actions of another student who has acted or plans to act in manner against the WCS Code of Conduct is also a Level 3 infraction and subject to disciplinary action.

I know the vast majority of our WCS students do the right thing every day, are proud of their school, and grateful for their teachers and staff. I thank them for showing Worcester pride and valuing the school culture. I also thank you for your assistance in speaking with your child about this dangerous social media trend and for helping to support our safe learning environment. Should you have any questions, please speak to your child’s teacher, principal, or me. We are always happy to help.

Respectfully,

Tim Gonzales
Superintendent

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