Or is social media just a scapegoat?
Social media can be blamed for many things, and Covington Police have speculated that a recent TikTok school challenge may be behind the recent attack on a 64-year-old disabled teacher in the classroom at Covington High School.
18-year-old Larriana Jackson was filmed by another pupil as she unleashed a number of vicious punches on her teacher who can be heard screaming in the sickening video.
Jackson is charged of felony battery and is scheduled to be arraigned on December 8th. Officers are speculating that the attack could have been prompted by the "slap a teacher" challenge, part of a viral TikTok trend called "devious licks."
Earlier this month a South Carolina teacher was smacked in the back of the head, prompting the school board to issue warnings to parents about the insidious craze. The TikTok Challenge has also drawn criticism and condemnation from politicians and educators across the nation.
A school year of chaos - broadcast on TikTok
The October 'Smack a staff member' challenge appears on a list of disruptive monthly challenges that are currently causing havoc in schools across the country.
There's a new challenge for each month of the school year, and as you might guess none of these is in the least bit wholesome or positive. Indeed, most appear to border on inciting criminal acts.
- September's challenge was to vandalize school bathrooms
- November's is to kiss your friend's girlfriend at school
- In February, TikTok users are being encouraged to 'Mess up school signs'
Parents and educators are wondering how anyone could dream up such challenges and then broadcast them on a social media network that's so widely used by kids and young teens?
TikTok has a duty of care
The buck should stop with TikTok themselves, to warn its users against participating in such challenges and removing videos posted by its users of themselves completing the challenge.
In response to the attack by Jackson in New Orleans, TikTok issued a statement on Twitter making its policy clear - that any such videos will be removed if discovered.
Could this then mean that the attack on a disabled teacher in her wheelchair was purely driven out of malice and aggression, rather than the assailant being motivated by getting her video on TikTok?
That almost seems worse, somehow.
What do you think about social media platforms like TikTok either knowingly or unknowingly encouraging kids to record videos of themselves causing chaos at school? Let me know in the comments section below.