TikTok has been causing chaos in schools lately.
First was the wave of vandalism. A TikTok challenge called for students to vandalize school property and show it on the social media video platform, causing a wave of property damage across the country. At some schools, it was so severe that schools went back to remote learning. Many schools closed their bathrooms to students.
Now it’s assaulting teachers.
The newest viral TikTok dare is “Slap a Teacher.” Several schools, like an elementary school in Lancaster County School District, North Carolina, have already reported assaults as students vie to be the next to go viral.
“This type of behavior just like theft and destruction of property is not a prank. It’s criminal behavior,” said the school district in a Facebook post. While no charges were filed against the young students, the school does say older students who assault staff members will be held criminally responsible and could face expulsion.
The “prank” or dare is part of a TikTok trend known as “devious licks,” after the first such dare to go viral. That one, prompted people to film themselves opening an ice cream in a grocery store, licking it, closing it again and putting it back on the shelf. In that instance, too, several people faced criminal charges. Notably, the girl whose original 2019 video kicked it all off was charged with a felony. Another “licker,” 36-year-old Lenise Lloyd Martin, tried to defend himself with “It was just a joke with no criminal intent,” before pleading guilty to criminal mischief and unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety or publicity, a crime in Louisiana.
“Slap a Teacher,” according to some, is only the October entry on a year-long list of school-related TikTok dares. Others allegedly range from more vandalism (“mess up school signs”) to potential sexual assault (“kiss your friend’s girlfriend at school,” “jab a breast”).