A Louisiana high school student is facing a felony charge of battery after she punched a teacher multiple times in a classroom on Wednesday, officials said, an attack that was recorded on video and may have been Get inspired by a TikTok challenge.
Police said Thursday that 18-year-old Lariana Jackson, an 18-year-old student at Covington High School, about 45 miles north of New Orleans, slammed a 64-year-old English teacher to the ground and continued to beat her.
The teacher, who is handicapped and has trouble walking, was released from a regional hospital after being treated for injuries to her hand and head, Sargent said. Edwin Masters, spokesman for the Covington Police Department. Police said the investigation into the attack was ongoing and additional arrests were expected.
According to Masters, investigators confiscated the cellphones of some of the students who recorded the attack, who said at least one video was posted to Instagram and Snapchat.
Police were trying to determine whether the attack was part of the so-called TikTok challenge, a social media craze among teens that critics fear could escalate from recording videos of acts of theft and vandalism to documenting the attack.
Masters said, “The TikTok challenge considered in the month of October was: slap a teacher.
It was not immediately clear whether Jackson, who was lodged in St. Tammany Parish Jail on Thursday, had a lawyer. If convicted of a schoolteacher battery charge, he could face between one and five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, officials said.
In a statement on Thursday, St Tammany Parish Public School superintendent Frank J Jabia condemned the attack. He said that the school authorities have not been able to link the attack to the TikTok challenge.
“The attack is disturbing, and so is the fact that other students stood up and recorded it and posted it on social media,” Jabia said. “The school system is taking appropriate disciplinary action against all the students involved. We have no evidence from our investigation that this incident is related to the TikTok challenge, but our school system will not tolerate any acts of violence, including participation in illegal social media trends.”
TikTok condemned any attempt to use its app to promote violence and said on Twitter on Wednesday that such videos have been banned from the platform.
TikTok said, “The rumor ‘Thappad a teacher’ dares is an insult to teachers everywhere.” “And while this is not a trend on TikTok, if at any point it appears, the content will be removed.”
Masters said the attack happened around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, just after the final dismissal bell. According to a video taken by Masters and another student released by Covington Police, most of the students had already left class when Jackson approached the teacher, who was sitting at his desk.
A few seconds before the first punch is thrown, someone on the video says, “I’m going to start running.” The camera was already on for more than 22 seconds in the video, which included a caption, “This is Covington Fa Ya,” along with a skull emoji.
The video shows the student, who authorities identified as Jackson, punching the teacher several times before recording stops.
“The video is going very fast right now,” Masters said.