Schools warn students: Don't try Tik Tok challenge of hitting staff

Oct. 5—Norwin School District and others around the region to warn students they could face criminal charges if they engage in the latest social media TikTok stunt of smacking a school staff member or teacher.

School officials are asking parents to speak to their children to make them aware that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Students who try to imitate the new TikTok challenge could be expelled or criminally charged with aggravated assault, Norwin Superintendent Jeff Taylor said in a message to district families.

"Assaulting a teacher or any school staff member is a crime, and the district will support our members who are victims of assaults in any way we can," Taylor stated in his message.

Wayne Walters, Pittsburgh Public Schools interim superintendent, notified families over the weekend that such behavior "is totally unacceptable" and won't be tolerated.

Students who "engage in these senseless activities" will face discipline under the district's student code of conduct, Walters said in a statement.

At Steel Valley, which serves Homestead, Munhall and West Homestead, Superintendent Edward Wehrer notified families that "anybody who strikes a staff member will face severe school discipline and the charge of aggravated assault."

The "disturbing social media provocation" actually encourages students to record and upload such actions against teachers and staff members, Steel Valley Superintendent Edward Wehrer said.

The latest TikTok challenge must be addressed as "a clear choice between right and wrong," Wehrer said.

Fritz Fekete, director of the Pennsylvania State Education Association's Southwestern Region office in Hunker, said he has not heard any concern from teacher union representatives at any of the schools in the region.

Parents should monitor their children's social media accounts and "discuss the consequences of taking part in risky, dangerous, or illegal social media challenges in the upcoming months," Taylor stated.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, or via Twitter .