HALL COUNTY, Ga. — A new TikTok controversy targeting teachers could end up with students being arrested in north Georgia.
Channel 2′s Tom Regan was in Hall County, where for weeks, students have been imitating what they see online. Last month, it was trashing bathrooms in response to the so-called School Challenge. Students stole toilets, spray-painted walls and wrecked plumbing.
In October, the challenge appears to be slapping teachers on the rear end.
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“Slapping a teacher on the fanny, let me say, I do not find that funny,” Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield said in a video message to students. “I find that sexual assault.”
School officials are hoping to ward off the challenge to assault a teacher, reminding parents that a criminal record would follow their children for the rest of their lives.
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“We certainly don’t want that for our students,” Hall Schools spokesman Stan Lewis said.
Schofield said that a number of students and their families are paying thousands of dollars in restitution payments stemming from the last challenge.
He said that the vandalism has been a huge burden for school maintenance workers and a major inconvenience for students.
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Schofield said parents need to talk to their kids and warn them of the serious consequences they face for online stunts, especially slapping a teacher.
“There is zero humor in that and we will be forced to prosecute to the furthest extent of the law,” Schofield said.
College student Jessica Bile said she is mystified by the inane, destructive stunts that children and teens do to grab attention online.
“It’s kind of crazy what social media will drive some kids to do,” Beil said. “And if you get charged criminally, what’s the point in it? Really?”
Regan reached out to TikTok for comment. The company said that dangerous challenges and illegal behavior are not allowed on their platform and will be removed.
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