Talk to enough of your teacher friends and they’ll tell you about a TikTok trend being shared regarding students and pranks they pull on educators. The “Slap A Teacher” challenge is part of an overarching challenge called the Devious Lick Challenge which encourages students to participate in vandalism and more.
On Tuesday (October 5), the California Teachers Association (CTA) released a warning titled “When Social Media Trends Become Assault.” The message relayed even though the challenge hadn’t caught on widespread, it has already resulted in a student assaulting a teacher in Missouri and another such incident in South Carolina.
“Slapping a teacher, regardless of whether it results in injury, is assault and battery and is completely unacceptable and illegal. Recording in a classroom or on other school property without permission is illegal,” the notice said.
Following the alleged assault in South Carolina, Lancaster County School District director Bryan Vaughn wrote in a letter saying, “This type of behavior just like theft and destruction of property is not a prank. It’s criminal behavior.” He also noted “assault on a staff member is an expellable offense which means the student is removed from the school for the rest of the year.”
The CTA warned teachers and administrators about possible incidents in California and beyond.
“If an incident occurs at your school site, please ensure that school administration and your local CTA chapter are notified immediately, and that police reports are filed if necessary,” the CTA said.