ROCHESTER - Schools across the country are bracing for brazen attacks on teachers following a viral TikTok challenge to "slap a teacher" and post the video this month, but the head of Rochester schools said on Monday that any violence will be swiftly met with "disciplinary action and potential legal consequences."
"These actions are disruptive to the learning environment, dangerous, illegal, and have no place in our schools," Rochester Schools Superintendent Kyle Repucci said.
The Rochester Voice on Monday interviewed about a dozen high school students playing basketball at the Hanson Pines courts and others gathered nearby, many of whom said they'd heard about the so-called challenge.
"It's stupid," said one teenager. "No one's paying any attention to it."
"I had never heard of it," said another. "That's crazy."
Several students said their parents had been contacted about the threats, which are part of a barrage of challenges aimed at getting teens to commit various crimes or pranks this fall.
A challenge for September dared students to vandalize school bathrooms and upload videos of the damage to online platforms.
One student playing basketball said there had been some bathroom vandalism at Spaulding High last month, but he didn't know if it was part of the challenge or just a random act nor did he know if any video was uploaded of the damage.
None of the students wanted to be identified for this report.
A disturbing video on Youtube shows an 18-year-old female student pummeling a 64-year-old Louisiana teacher who was hospitalized. The student faces assault charges.
Other such incidents have occurred in Massachusetts and Florida.
Repucci said he alerted parents to the threat last month and hopes they'll use this as a teaching moment for their children.
"We urge our families to have conversations about making good choices in and outside of school with their students." he said.