If you are reading this post, you’re old enough to understand our message. We have written often about the latest challenge facing our youth. Do you remember the cinnamon challenge, or the duct tape challenge? Both foolish and to some, dangerous.

The latest challenge circulating the internet involves activities at school. One that’s getting some attention on TikTok involves damaging school bathrooms. Removing the soap dispensers or sinks in the boys and girls restrooms is leading to discipline at school, and even formal charges against the student for criminal damage. Spray painting or using markers on the walls result in consequences imposed by juvenile courts that include probation, restitution for the repair costs, community service hours and others. Not to mention giving the offending student a record that could follow them into their adult lives.

Another particularly serious challenge involves slapping a teacher or other school official. Many states have specific laws that protect people doing certain jobs. This includes the police, fire department employees, and those in education. Teachers are protected by laws that increase the penalties one can receive if a crime is committed against a teacher. Some states have made these offenses felonies, not a misdemeanor, with more serious consequences.

So, our message is to think before getting involved in any of these challenges. The risk you take may affect you for years to come.

Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including ‘Teen Cyberbullying Investigated’ (Free Spirit Publishing) and ‘Every Vote Matters: the Power of Your Voice, from Student Elections to the Supreme Court‘ (Free Spirit Publishing). In 2020, the American Bar Association published “Cyberbullying Law,” the nation’s first case-law book written for lawyers, judges and law students. When he’s not answering teens’ questions, Judge Tom volunteers with the American Red Cross and can be found hiking, traveling and reading.