2 Whitman-Hanson HS students facing charges for imitating viral trend, scorching outlets

WHITMAN, MASS. (WHDH) - A 15 and a 16-year-old are facing charges after police say they scorched several electrical outlets inside Whitman-Hanson Regional High School last week.

The students allegedly imitated a viral trend involving people who record themselves using an iPhone charger and a penny to spark a fire and short an outlet, according to school officials.

Last week, school officials noticed that eight electrical outlets had short-circuited and it was later determined that the damage to the outlets was the result of the troubling trend that began on the popular video app Tik Tok.

Police were dispatched to the school on Thursday and school officials identified the two students who are believed to have perpetrated some if not all of the damage.

No injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

Similar incidents have occurred throughout the state prompting State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey to issue an advisory to the public.

“This is not just a harmless prank that kids are doing,” Hanson Police Chief Michael Miksch said. “Causing an outlet to short circuit this way can cause serious injury and could potentially start a fire. Not to mention the damage it can do to a building’s electrical system, along with hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of damage. We are taking this issue seriously and anyone identified doing this will be charged criminally.”

They have been issued summons to appear in juvenile court and will also face punishment from the school.

They are charged with attempting to burn a building and malicious destruction of property.

“We urge parents to talk to their children about this serious issue and the dangers that can occur to themselves and others by doing this,” Superintendent Jeffrey Szymaniak said.

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