TikTok tweeted on Wednesday that they were not seeing the “slap a teacher” challenge as a trend on the app and that if content was posted, it’ll be removed.
“The rumored ‘slap a teacher’ dare is an insult to educators everywhere,” the tweet said. “And while this is not a trend on TikTok, if at any point it shows up, content will be removed.”
The challenge is one of multiple officials and districts across the commonwealth are warning about. The TikTok challenges are associated with the hashtag “devious licks.”
The hashtag encourages a new challenge each month. September’s trend involved vandalizing the school, what was possibly “one of the more innocent pranks on the list,” Berkshire Hills Regional School District superintendent Peter Dillion wrote to parents. October is “film yourself slapping a teacher” month, he said.
“While it should go without saying, these challenges are idiotic, destructive and dangerous,” Dillion wrote. “Our hope is that they never happen in what we like to see as safe and supportive schools.”
But this week multiple states, including Massachusetts, had incidents in which students were slapping teachers.
A student in Braintree participated in the “slap a teacher” TikTok challenge Wednesday.
“We had our first case in the district today,” the district said, according to CBS. “Please be aware that physically assaulting any staff member in the Braintree schools will immediately result in notification of the Braintree Police Department and significant school-based discipline, up to and including expulsion.”
A South Carolina school district said an elementary student had struck a teacher, according to Fox News.
“Unfortunately, the challenge that has been put out for this month is to slap or hit a staff member from behind,” the district said, according to the news station. “Sadly, we actually had an elementary student assault a teacher by striking her in the back of the head.”
A Louisiana police department wrote on Facebook that it responded to a high school after a teacher was assaulted.
“Due to injuries sustained by the attack, the teacher had to seek medical attention at a local hospital,” the Facebook post read. “Officers on scene were also provided a video that captured the entire incident.”
The 64-year-old teacher was sitting at her desk when she was hit by 18-year-old Larrianna Jackson.
“As the teacher fell to the ground, Jackson continues to violently closed fist punch the teacher. The video then turns off at this point,” the post said.
Officers said they learned it “may have been prompted by a viral social media application known as Tik-Tok.”
“Larrianna Jackson was arrested and charged with violation of L.R.S. 14:34.3, Battery of School Teacher (Felony),” the post stated. “Jackson was then transported to St Tammany Parish Jail where she will await prosecution.”
Districts across Massachusetts have been warning families of the consequences.
Dillion warned families in the Berkshire Hills Regional School District that the challenge “could be considered assault and battery” and that there will be “serious consequences for the offenders.”
Another letter sent out to parents in Westport Community Schools district also warned students that they could face criminal charges, according to ABC6.
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