Students around the country are being charged with assault as a result of a new TikTok challenge.
Whether it be eating spoonfuls of cinnamon, climbing on egg crates, or licking toilet seats, teenagers have been engaging in destructive and unsafe social media challenges for years.
The newest challenge comes to us courtesy of TikTok—and it's leading to criminal charges.
Students around the country have begun participating in TikTok's "slap a teacher" challenge, in which students record themselves hitting their teachers.
An 18 year-old high Louisiana student allegedly punched her teacher, a 64 year-old disabled woman, in an effort to participate in the challenge.
The student has since been arrested and charged with suspicion of battery of a school teacher, a felony crime.
Watch the video from a 3rd party here:
The teacher and victim of the "challenge" was reportedly hospitalized after the incident.
In addition, a Braintree, Massachusetts middle school student also allegedly hit their teacher in conjunction with the challenge.
The student, who attends East Middle School, is currently facing severe consequences for the attack on their teacher.
While the district has not released information on whether they will be pressing criminal charges against the student, the incident prompted the district to release a statement warning parents about the viral TikTok challenge.
"The most recent TikTok challenge involves 'slap a teacher,' and we had our first case in the district today."
"Please be aware that physically assaulting any staff member in the Braintree schools will immediately result in notification of the Braintree Police Department and significant school-based discipline, up to and including expulsion."
An elementary school student from the Lancaster County school district of South Carolina is also facing serious consequences for engaging in the challenge after attacking a teacher on October 1.
That district also released a statement about the challenge on the Lancaster County School District Safety & Transportation Facebook page.
"Unfortunately, the challenge that has been put out for this month is to slap or hit a staff member from behind."
"Sadly, we actually had an elementary student assault a teacher by striking her in the back of the head."
The statement also referenced another viral TikTok challenge known as the "devious licks" challenge, in which students vandalize and steal from their respective schools.
School districts around the country are releasing warnings about the "slap a teacher" challenge in an effort to ward off student attacks as well as warning parents and teachers about the challenge.
The California Teachers Association wrote on their Facebook page in reference to the challenge:
"Educators beware! 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.'"
Rebecca Pringle, president of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), shared a letter to the Wall Street Journal that calls out TikTok and other social media platforms for perpetuating harmful challenges.
She argues these platforms share a role in the prevalent "violence against our educators."
However, TikTok has attempted to distance themselves from the challenge, taking down videos when possible and returning no internal search results for the "slap a teacher" challenge.
Twitter users are outraged about the challenge, calling for the students who engage in hitting their teachers to face serious consequences.
The executive director of NASRO, Mo Canady, said resource officers around the U.S. have been made aware of the challenge and charges may apply to students who engage in it.
"When adolescents see something like this and see it play out on the social media world, they don't understand the ramifications and the potential criminal charges."
He also said it is up to the victims of the challenge, the teachers, to press charges against the students in question.
"It's flat out wrong but beyond that, it can affect their future and that has to be the message."