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North Carolina middle school removes bathroom mirrors to prevent students from recording TikTok videos during class
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North Carolina middle school removes bathroom mirrors to prevent students from recording TikTok videos during class

A middle school in North Carolina has removed its bathroom mirrors because students have been missing large chunks of class to record TikTok videos in the restrooms, according to Fox News Digital.

Les Atkins, spokesperson for the Alamance-Burlington School System, explained that the Southern Alamance Middle School in Graham took the mirrors out of the bathrooms to eliminate what has become a distraction for many students.

"Students were going to the bathroom for long periods of time and making TikTok," Atkins said.

The school system noted that students generally use the restroom three or four times per day, but that number has spiked to seven, eight, and even nine times per day, according to the report.

Atkins said there has been a dramatic improvement since the mirrors were removed, saying that "not as many visits to the bathroom, not staying as long, and students are held accountable, and when there’s accountability, you see a great difference."

Atkins said the school system is trying to educate its students on "digital citizenship."

"We’re trying to educate students. Like we all have cell phones now. We have to learn to use them. We have to learn when to put them down," Atkins said.

The school is now introducing a Smart Pass for its students, which is a digital hall pass that allows students to check in and out of class. The report noted that it is intended to keep staff informed about where students are at all times.

Southern Alamance Middle School sent a letter to parents, explaining that "[w]e strive to limit distractions so students can focus on learning. Though this is an adjustment, we believe these changes will foster a better learning environment by minimizing disruptions."

KXAN previously reported that schools across the country are trying to find ways to keep TikTok from distracting students from learning. In 2022, Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas, said it was addressing issues related to students acting out TikTok challenges. One of these challenges was known as the "slap a teacher" challenge.

While schools are trying to solve the issue of TikTok, Pew Research suggests that 1 in 6 teens reported that they use TikTok and YouTube "almost constantly." With digital platforms vying for students' attention, it appears phones in class could be a problem.

It does not appear the North Carolina middle school has explored the potential of eliminating phones in the classroom.

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