CARROLL COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – School officials are warning parents about another dangerous TikTok challenge that urges students to slap teachers and school staff members.
The Ohio School Safety Center issued an alert to Ohio school districts this week warning about the October “slap a teacher” TikTok challenge.
The bulletin said the challenge “encourages students to slap a teacher or staff member and run before being caught” and then post the video. The organization suggests schools warn parents about the trend.
The Carrollton Exempted Village Schools in Carroll County Thursday sent a letter to middle and high school parents about the “slap a teacher” challenge and included a list of additional upcoming monthly TikTok challenges.
“We’re trying to be proactive,” Superintendent Dr. Dave Quattrochi said.
The letter asked parents to “talk to your child about the foolishness of these Internet challenges” and let them know about the potentially serious disciplinary consequences.
“The letter went out to make parents aware and to speak with their children about why this is inappropriate and the consequences that will come along with it,” Quattrochi said.
Schools across Northeast Ohio have been hit by another TikTok challenge in recent weeks. The “devious licks” challenge urges students to steal school property, such as soap dispensers and bathroom hardware. In many local cases, students have caused significant damage and vandalism to school bathrooms.
“These TikTok challenges have been very disruptive to the learning process this year,” Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro said.
With teachers the latest potential target, DiMauro said it means added stress upon staff already overworked amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Assaulting a teacher or any school staff member is a crime, and we’re going to support our members who are victims of assaults in any way we can,” DiMauro said.
A spokesperson for TikTok said dangerous content is not allowed on the platform.
“We are hearing of offline teen dares being suggested as future TikTok challenges and want to be crystal clear: dangerous challenges and illegal behavior are not allowed on our platform and will be removed,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The platform said in addition to removing the content, it’s redirecting related hashtags and search results to its community guidelines
It said it also has resources available to help parents review and adjust content and privacy settings, including several guides and a family pairing feature that allows parents to link their TikTok account to their child’s.