Mississauga, Brampton school board says student TikTok prank participants will be punished

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Published October 4, 2021 at 8:25 pm

Marianne Mazzorato, the education director of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB), and the TikTok social media app.

The area’s Catholic school board put parents and students on blast on Monday night, saying a few pupils “are facing the consequences of their actions” for taking part in a social media prank that is promoted through the TikTok app.

In a letter addressed to school parents in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, education director Marianne Mazzorato said the board is aware of a “series of monthly challenges” promoted through TikTok.

Several involve pranks and acts that the board views as a violation of its code of conduct. Those include a challenge to “Smack A Staff Member” and another to vandalize school washrooms, and share it on the site.

“Regrettably, some students have participated in accepting these challenges and are facing the consequences of their actions,” writes Mazzorato (pictured, top). “Please be advised that participation in any of these challenges is a serious violation of our Catholic Code of Conduct and may result in consequences to any student who is identified as being involved.

“We continue to be proud of our students who accept their responsibility to be contributing members of safe, inclusive, caring school communities guided by the teachings of our Faith.”

The community information bulletin adds, We are confident that, together in partnership, and with your support (as parents), our students will continue to make responsible choices.” Caregivers are encouraged to contact schools with concerns and questions.

TikTok is a heavily video-based social network owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech firm that is headquartered in the Cayman Islands. It hosts short videos that are between 15 seconds and three minutes in duration.

It is has over 1 billion users worldwide, roughly five times as many as Twitter. Much of that edge comes from having a much bigger capture of the youth culture among teenagers and adults under age 35.

The DPCDSB oversees close to 150 schools and 90,000 students in the Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and Orangeville areas.

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