Teens Arrested After Video Shows Student Punching Disabled 64-Year-Old Teacher

A video allegedly recorded by students showed a 64-year-old teacher getting punched several times by another student at Covington High School in Louisiana. That student was arrested and is now facing a felony charge of battery.

Sergeant Edwin Masters, the press information officer for the Covington Police Department, told Newsweek that the teacher is disabled and uses a cane because she has difficulty walking. In the video, Jackson is seen speaking with the teacher who is sitting down. She then punched the teacher multiple times, who fell out of the chair. If guilty, Jackson may face a maximum fine of $5,000 or five years in jail.

Masters told Newsweek a school resource officer called the police for backup and Jackson was arrested at the school. The reason behind the alleged attack was initially unknown. It wasn't until the following day, Masters told Newsweek, that officers learned this attack may have been a part of a TikTok challenge in which students are videotaped slapping a teacher.

Newsweek previously reported that the California Teachers Association issued a warning about the "slap a teacher" challenge on Facebook.

Empty Classroom
A student in Louisiana was arrested for allegedly punching a teacher several times. A photograph of an empty classroom in Spain. Miguel Pereira/Getty Images

The post stated that it is part of the same "devious lick" challenge in which students vandalized public school restrooms and school property.

TikTok released a public statement on Twitter in response to the challenge.

"The rumored 'slap a teacher' dare is an insult to educators everywhere. And while this is not a trend on TikTok, if at any point it shows up, content will be removed," the social media platform wrote on Twitter.

When the term "slap a teacher challenge" is searched on TikTok, there are no results found. A message on the search page reads, "This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok's top priority."

Masters told Newsweek that Jackson declined to provide a statement when she was arrested. She was later released on bail for $25,000.

Two other students, 18-year-old Trinity Gervais, and a juvenile turned themselves in after they were identified by detectives, according to WWL-TV a CBS affiliate. The outlet reported that they were charged with unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity, which is a misdemeanor.

Masters told Newsweek that by videotaping the incident, the two other students became involved and also responsible for the situation.

He then said that the police department has not responded to this particular challenge in the school district, but surrounding departments have reported responding to TikTok challenges.

"Our biggest stance is to reach out to our youth and have them understand that this TikTok challenge, whether they're doing it for notoriety, is to not do it," Masters said. "You will be held accountable."

A statement from St. Tammany Parish Public School System Superintendent Frank Jabbia called the attack "disturbing," as well as the fact that other students stood by and recorded it.

"The school system is taking the appropriate disciplinary action against all students involved," the statement read. "We don't have any evidence from our investigation that this incident is related to the TikTok challenge but any acts of violence including participation in illegal social media trends will not be tolerated in our school system."

Updated 10/11/2021, 6:20 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a statement from St. Tammany Parish Public School System Superintendent Frank Jabbia.