Situational Awareness:The October TikTok Challenge encourages students to slap their teachers
School Safety Means Keeping Staff
Just as Safe as Students…
It is no secret that TikTok is the latest, most popular social media platform for kids and adults alike. The free app offers a space for users to create and share short videos with friends and worldwide audiences; from choreographed dances and funny skits to recipes and information on how to save for retirement, the app learns the interests of each user and will continue to offer videos that fit the algorithm on an unending feed. While dance challenges regularly fill a user’s ‘FYP’, or ‘For You Page’, a new challenge has emerged in October that has raised concern for Schools: the Slap A Teacher Challenge.
While previous TikTok challenges have encouraged students to destroy school property, the October challenge promotes physical violence. Many schools are enforcing a zero tolerance policy for students who participate in the viral challenge – whether it’s the student engaging in the act of slapping or punching a teacher, or the student filming the act – and are preparing to prosecute to the full extent of the law. Students who see these videos taking place in their schools are encouraged to share them with Administration for further investigation.
According to the
Ohio School Safety Center…
“Some open-source media states that TikTok is addressing these trends by deleting and blocking the names of users associated with the challenges. It is being reported that TikTok is now directing associated hashtags to its Community Guidelines page. However, these videos can still be found on this platform by using variations of these terms or misspellings.”
What to do…
School Administrators should inform parents and teachers of this new viral trend and should speak with students about the consequences they will face should they participate. This information should be made visible on School websites, social media platforms, and sent directly to students’ homes. Teachers should be even more aware of their surroundings and enforce a policy of having no cell phones out during class.