Take this, Tik-Tok: Camp Ernst director inspires – and rewards – students who practice ‘positive vibes’


By Judy Clabes
NKyTribune Editor

Principal Stephanie Haggerty of Camp Ernst Middle School did not stand still as a few misguided students engaged in bad behavior and defined her school. It took action, as good leaders do, and unleashed a counter-revolution.

You may have heard of the TikTok challenge, “Devious Licks,” which has gained popularity on social media and involves students posting videos that show them stealing, damaging, and showing stolen items. at school. It spread across the country and caused extensive damage to school bathrooms. In fact, if you have students in schools, they are probably telling you about the serious reduction in bathroom privileges in their own schools.

Stephanie Haggery

Plus, students bark and wear necklaces, and generally annoy each other – all related to the popular TikTok.

There have been a few student arrests in the area, and Haggerty has had to arrest a few students and at least one has been suspended.

“There is a consequence to this bad behavior and costly vandalism on school property,” Haggerty said.

Here is the letter that Boone County Superintendent Matthew Turner recently sent to parents:


Recently, our schools have been confronted with student behaviors that have become very disruptive to the school day. You may have seen reports of this behavior on social media or in the news as kids create and post TikTok videos. The most recent trend is called the ‘sneaky lick’ challenge where students are encouraged to distinguish other students in derogatory ways, such as by ‘barking’ at them, stealing or destroying school property and displaying them. This behavior is taking place in school districts across the country where students are allowed to have cell phones with the TikTok app.

This behavior will not be tolerated and will be treated accordingly.

A note to a teacher

Destruction of school property will result in the maximum application of school discipline, including the payment of restitution for property that has been damaged or destroyed and possibly criminal prosecution by our local police or the sheriff’s department.

Please speak with your child (ren) about respect for fellow students and school property and let them know that we take a zero tolerance stance on this behavior.

We’ve provided some resources for parents from Common Sense Media below:

Ultimate Parents Guide to Tik Tok

13 viral challenges your child is already experiencing

This resource has not been updated to reflect ‘sneaky licks’, but the information for parents / guardians is applicable to any viral challenge.

Our daily goal is to provide an environment in which students can feel secure in learning and socializing with other students and staff.

Matthew L. Turner Superintendent of Schools

Help dad take out the trash.

Haggerty and his team took charge of the offense. They weren’t going to let 5% of students ruin the school day for everything else.

Here is his letter to parents and students:

Parents and students,

We have a new challenge for you! We know we have wonderful children in our school and we want to show the community how caring and kind they are. To inspire our students to share their inner kindness, we created the Camp Ernst Cares Challenge! What is that? This is an opportunity for our children to help the community. We challenge our students to engage in productive civic acts so that they can spread positive “vibes” in our school and neighborhoods.

So take this, the TikTok’ers.

Haggerty says the team wanted to focus on the positive, and two teachers, Adam Kiefner and Kristen Franks, came up with some ideas to kick off the “positive vibes” (as the students named it).

First, they made a list of some examples of positive actions for students.

Help clean the dining room tables.

Students take positive action, post photos on the school’s Facebook (via a Google form) and earn points through a rewards system. They put together a list of reward options, like pizza nights, principal’s observation, or lunch with the school’s resource manager.

To sweep up

There’s no budget for rewards, of course, but Haggerty (and most likely other teachers) are willing to offer prizes with their own money (another thing teachers do, let them have it. means or not).

A little help from the community would be more than welcome, especially awards from the local business community. if you can help, contact Haggerty at the school, 859.534.4000. Or call your local school to see how you can help create “positive vibes” there.

And, by all means, parents – tell your kids about TikTok and demand civil demeanor and good citizenship.


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