BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District Schools is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the people responsible for vandalizing a school restroom.
They say students have escalated the destructive activity as part of a Tik Tok challenge.
BDS Director of Operations Josh Balkom said any Bay County students who participate in the popular Tik Tok challenge known as “devious lick” could now face serious consequences.
“We are asking our families to please have a conversation with their children about the use of social media,” Balkom said. “We will offer a $500 reward for any information that may lead to an arrest.”
Bay County School officials said students could be removed from their school and put in an alternative program.
Sheriff Tommy Ford said if the damages cost enough the kid could be charged with a felony.
“If you commit a felony then you’ll be charged as a felony your mug shot will be on social media and it will follow you,” Ford said. “ If they want attention for it then I can provide that.”
He said they have spent a lot of time and money rebuilding the schools after Hurricane Michael.
“It’s not funny, it’s costly, it’s damaging to our schools and we have spent so much time and effort to rebuild after Hurricane Michael and we are not going to let them be vandalized,” Ford said.
Both the school and sheriff’s department say they’re using a zero-tolerance approach.
This week dozens of schools had serious incidents.
Bryan Bullock the Principal at Mosley High School said it has really escalated over the last couple of days.
“We’ve caught a student stealing a microscope out of a science lab and then unfortunately Thursday we had a person kicking a sink and breaking one of our sinks in our restrooms,” Bullock said.
Coy Pilson the Principal at Rutherford High School said they had a student take a fire extinguisher off the wall, take it home, and post it on Tik Tok. He said there have also been other incidents.
“We’ve had ceiling tiles removed, we’ve had toilets filled with toilet paper, soap dispensers ripped off walls,” Pilson said.
Pilson said he’s also concerned he may lose custodians because of this incident.
Bay District Schools is already short-staffed.
Officials believe it’s a small group of kids committing these crimes and they are committed to getting answers.
“Those that are causing the problems within our restrooms and on our campuses this vandalism we are going to hold you accountable,” Balkom said.
Administrators said they are working to add more security in the schools as well.