Elementary School Teacher Assaulted by Pupil in 'Slap' TikTok Challenge

A South Carolina woman has fallen victim to a worrying new TikTok challenge encouraging school children to "slap a teacher."

The challenge, which began on October 1, follows on from the recent "devious licks" trend which led to the theft and damage of school property last month before TikTok took action to remove any videos or hashtags referencing it from the platform.

Unfortunately, the new "slap a teacher" trend has already led to disruption in at least one elementary school in Lancaster County where a female educator ended up being assaulted as part of the trend.

In a statement first posted to Facebook Lancaster County School District Safety & Transportation director Bryan Vaughn confirmed: "Sadly, we actually had an elementary student assault a teacher by striking her in the back of the head."

He added: "This type of behavior, just like theft and destruction of property, is not a prank. It's criminal behavior."

Vaughn also warned that any assault of this kind is "an expellable offense" and urged parents to "educate your kids on the issue and monitor their social media habits."

Warnings have already been issued across several U.S. states about the "slap a teacher" trend.

According to Local 10, at least one teacher union in Florida has issued a warning to educators to be vigilant of any potential attacks in school over the coming weeks.

The Broward Teachers Union sent an email to its members last week urging them to "watch your fellow educators' backs" and watch out for students running towards them while holding phones.

Meanwhile, in Texas, parents at one school were sent a text message warning of the trend.

San Antonio Express News says IDEA Carver College Preparatory School issued the message as a "proactive measure" and while there have been no reported incidents as yet, the school's principal has warned of "severe consequences" for anyone involved.

Fox8 also reported that the Ohio School Safety Center has issued an alert to school districts across the state warning them about the trend, while letters have been issued to middle and high school parents.

The President of the Nebraska State Education Association, Jenni Benson, has also told KSNBLocal4 that schools across the state will take a "zero tolerance" approach to anyone partaking in behavior of this kind.

"We are calling on parents to talk with their children and let them know that threatening and engaging in physical harm is not a joke," she told the news outlet.

WHEC, meanwhile, is reporting that parents at New Britain High School have been told their children could be expelled or even arrested if they are found to have participated in the challenge.

Newsweek has contacted Lancaster County School District Safety & Transportation for comment.

A phone with the TikTok app.
A close-up of a phone with the TikTok app in Lafayette, California - an elementary teacher in South Carolina has been assaulted as part of a viral challenge on the app. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty