Schools across the nation are notifying teachers, parents and students of possible consequences after a “Slap the Teacher” challenge began to trend on social media and multiple students, including in St. Tammany Parish, assaulted teachers.
In a statement issued Wednesday on Twitter, officials with the TikTok app denied posing a “Slap the Teacher” “Challenge of the Month” and said it does not allow videos promoting violence.
“The rumored ‘slap a teacher’ dare is an insult to educators everywhere,” TikTok said. “And while this is not a trend on TikTok, if at any point it shows up, content will be removed.”
At Covington High School, a student was arrested Wednesday after she allegedly assaulted her physically disabled teacher as part of the trending social media challenge.
The Covington Police Department said Larrianna Jackson, 18, was caught on video punching the 64-year-old teacher. The attack happened after the dismissal bell rang and most of the students had already left the classroom.
Due to injuries sustained by the attack, the teacher had to seek medical attention at a local hospital. A Covington police spokesman said the teacher, who is disabled and has trouble walking, was released from an area hospital after being treated for injuries to her arms and head.
Jackson was arrested and charged with battery of school teacher, which is a felony, and was taken to the St. Tammany Parish Jail to await prosecution. She could face one to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted of the charge, battery of a schoolteacher, the authorities said.
A video that captured the entire incident includes someone saying, “I’m going to start running” and then shows the teacher sitting at her desk where she appears to be talking to Jackson. After a moment, Jackson punches the teacher, causing her to fall to the floor. Jackson continues to violently closed fist punch the teacher. The video then turns off at this point.
Police said at least one of the videos was posted on Instagram and Snapchat.
Friday afternoon, WDSU news reported the arrest of two more students, a minor and 18-year-old Trinity Gervais. Police said both were charged with the misdemeanor of unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity.
CBS Boston reported that a middle school student in Braintree, Massachusetts, is facing disciplinary consequences after being inspired by the challenge to hit a teacher Wednesday.
USA Today reported an elementary school student in South Carolina faces similar consequences after assaulting a teacher on Oct. 1 in the Lancaster County School District.