School staff on edge as ‘Slap a teacher’ TikTok challenge circulates on social media

National

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A new violent TikTok challenge has triggered warnings from local authorities and school officials.

The “#SlapATeacher” challenge, the October challenge of the month, has circulated on social media, prompting officials to threaten serious punishments if students break the law by participating.

The challenge requires a student to approach their teacher, slap them and run away. The challenge must also be captured on video and posted on social media.

Police departments across the United States, like one in New Jersey, is encouraging parents to speak with their children and remind them those who participate will be held accountable.

Last month, the so-called “devious licks” challenge was created where students stole and vandalized school property. Teens across the country were arrested.

The challenge made its way to the Bay Area.

Pleasanton district officials said there were instances at every high school and middle school in the district and there was limited bathroom access on campus.

From soap dispensers ripped off walls to toilet paper taken from restrooms — the trend made its way across the Bay Area and beyond.

Campuses in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District were targeted, along with damage in schools in San Joaquin County, a smashed mirror at a school in Texas, and more vandalism in South Carolina.

Park officials in Hendersonville, Tennessee made multiple police reports in about the last month after urinals and soap dispensers were ripped from bathrooms and rocks were stuffed in toilets, WKRN reports.

Educators and school staff are now on edge with this more violent challenge.

A school superintendent in Florida warned students there’s a zero tolerance policy for such behavior.

In an email sent to parents and staff, school officials warned of the challenge but assured they take the safety of staff and students very seriously.

“It’s important for all of our students and families to very clearly understand that slapping a staff members is a Level 5 physical attack involving a mandatory 5-day out-of-school suspension and a recommendation for expulsion,” the statement read, in part.

The California Teachers Association has also recently warned school staff about the challenge.

“Educators beware!” the association wrote on Facebook. “As if widespread vandalism in our schools last month wasn’t enough, the same ‘challenge’ circulating on social media networks TikTok and Twitter is now calling for students to ‘slap a staff member.’”

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