Area districts warning parents, students of consequences of ‘Smack a Staff Member’ TikTok challenge

PITTSBURGH — When scrolling through TikTok, you’ll come across any number of “challenges” on the social media platform. A new one has people concerned, especially educators, because it’s called “Smack a Staff Member.”

Several weeks ago, Channel 11 told you about the “Devious Lick” challenge that resulted in vandalism to several schools in the area.

>>RELATED STORY: TikTok challenge damages local schools

“Thinking about everything teachers do for our students, and to have that kind of threat put upon them is absolutely insane,” said Shannon Parton.

Parents aren’t the only ones concerned. The superintendent of the Steel Valley School District sent a letter to families warning them about the challenge.

Following that, the leaders of the Norwin School District and Pittsburgh Public Schools also issued similar notices.

Norwin leaders said the behavior won’t be tolerated and students could get expelled or charged with aggravated assault.

In a letter to Pittsburgh Public Schools parents, interim Superintendent Wayne Walters said any students who take part in the challenge will be disciplined.

Dr. Wayne Walters, Interim Superintendent, posted a letter to PPS families in response to a negative Tik Tok trend encouraging students to slap their teacher.

Posted by Pittsburgh Public Schools on Sunday, October 3, 2021

“Some of the material I have to watch. He watches TikTok a lot, but I always monitor him and what he watches and everything,” said Connie Burgrin.

“Kids just don’t realize the harm and potential consequences of some of these things,” Parton said.