The digital age has brought with it a plethora of new challenges for educators trying to keep students focused on their academics.
The latest thorn in their side? TikTok.
In a bid to combat this distraction, a middle school in North Carolina has resorted to removing mirrors from their bathrooms.
The Heart of the Problem
While scrolling and uploading a quirky clip or two on TikTok may seem harmless, the issue escalates when it starts interfering with educational activities.
In Southern Alamance Middle School, North Carolina, it became evident that students were spending excessive time in bathrooms, filming TikTok videos instead of attending classes.
Mirrors No More
The school administrators decided to tackle this issue head-on, and their solution was to remove the mirrors from the restrooms.
This move aimed to deter students from taking frequent bathroom breaks to film TikTok videos, an activity that was disrupting the academic environment.
The Impact of the Move
According to Les Atkins, the public relations officer for the Alamance-Burlington School System, this unusual measure has shown positive results.
Since the removal of mirrors, the school has noticed a significant decrease in bathroom visits and the duration of these visits.
Seems like students are now more accountable for their time, which is a step towards creating a more conducive learning environment.
A Step Towards Digital Citizenship
This initiative by the school is part of their broader attempt to instill a sense of ‘digital citizenship’ in students.
Atkins stated, “Like we all have cell phones now. We have to learn to use them.”
“We have to learn when to put them down.”
Tracking Student Movement
In addition to the mirror removal, the school district has also implemented a digital pass system for students.
This system allows them to check in and out of class, helping the school keep track of the amount of time students spend away from their classrooms during the day.
A Wider Concern
This issue is not just confined to Southern Alamance Middle School.
The growing addiction to TikTok among Gen Z and its potential harmful effects have been a topic of concern among US tech space experts.
Banning the App
States have also started to take notice of the addictive nature of TikTok.
Montana became the first US state to ban the app, citing concerns about ‘Chinese Communist Party surveillance’.
Parents Joining Forces
In the wake of these concerns, parents are rallying together to express their worries about the impact of TikTok on their children.
ClaimsHero, a company that assists people in communicating with lawyers and managing their claim during the arbitration process, is representing these parents.
A Pending Lawsuit
ClaimsHero’s website claims, “TikTok is a weapon targeted at America’s youth.”
They have a lawsuit in progress, with at least 5,000 parents involved, intending to raise awareness about the dangers of the app.
The case of the Southern Alamance Middle School is a poignant reminder of the challenges the digital age presents to educators and parents alike.
As we continue to navigate this new era, it’s crucial to strike a balance between harnessing the benefits of technology and mitigating its potential detriments.