A Stonewall Jackson High School student was charged with vandalism and “negligent burning” after an attempt at the “outlet challenge” sparked a fire at the school Thursday morning.
The Prince William County Fire Marshal was called to the Manassas-area high school at 10:09 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, after a school resource officer reported that a desk-mounted electrical outlet had ignited, according to the Prince William County Fire & Rescue Department.
An investigation determined a student participating in a social media stunt called the “outlet challenge” ignited the receptacle, the department said in a Facebook post.
No injuries nor property damage were reported.
The "outlet challenge” involves partially inserting the brick portion of a mobile device charger into a wall outlet and then sliding a penny down onto the brick's exposed metal prongs, which results in a blast of electrical sparks.
The fad has been made popular by social media sites, including Tik Tok, according to news reports.
The fire marshal’s office discouraging anyone from attempting the challenge, calling it “extremely dangerous” and “likely to cause harm or extensive property damage.”
“Anyone witnessing such activity should report it to a responsible party, school officials, or the fire marshal’s office,” the department said.
Parents, too, are advised to discuss the "challenge" with children and warn them of the extreme hazards, the post says.
Neither the age nor the gender of the student charged was released by the fire department, likely because the individual is a juvenile.