Officials say that a high school student in Louisiana attacked a teacher who was disabled as part of a TikTok challenge, beating her many times and knocking her out of her chair, among other things.
In connection with the unprovoked attack, Larrianna Jackson, an 18-year-old student at Covington High School, was arrested Wednesday on felony battery of a school teacher charges. Police think the attack may have been caused by TikTok’s “slap a teacher” challenge, which the company says isn’t very common.
Video obtained by WVUE shows Jackson assaulting the 64-year-old teacher in her wheelchair at least four times before hurling her to the ground.
Another student in the classroom shot the footage, police said, and the teacher is heard screaming during the attack that occurred just after class let out.
“In the video, you can see the schoolteacher sitting at her desk where she appears to be talking to Larrianna Jackson,” Covington police said in a statement. “After a moment, Jackson punches the teacher, causing the teacher to fall to the ground. As the teacher fell to the ground, Jackson continues to violently closed fist-punch the teacher. The video then turns off at this point.”
St. Tammany Schools Superintendent Frank Jabbia told the station he was “devastated” to watch the footage.
“For this teacher to be having a conversation with a student and then to be assaulted in this manner was very disturbing,” Jabbia said, adding that all students involved would be disciplined.
The unnamed teacher sought treatment at a hospital after the attack, police said. Responding officers were also provided the video footage that captured the entire incident.
It’s unclear if the assaulted teacher will return to the classroom, Jabbia said. She has been released from the hospital, but will be monitored over the next few days, the superintendent said.
“She is hurting,” Jabbia told WVUE.
Police said the assault could be tied to a viral trend on TikTok, where users on the app “have deemed it to be a challenge” to damage school property and attack teachers, while reminding the public that anyone who participates in such incidents will be prosecuted.
“This matter is still under investigation and more arrests will be forthcoming,” Covington police said.
TikTok denied that claim in a tweet Wednesday, saying the “rumored ‘slap a teacher’ dare” is an insult to educators everywhere.
“And while this is not a trend on TikTok, if at any point it shows up, content will be removed,” the video-sharing platform said.
A search for “slap a teacher” or related phrases led to no search results on TikTok, Fox News reported Thursday. But 11 videos posted by teachers discouraging assaults on educators were found, according to the report.
Jabbia said in a statement Thursday there was no evidence that the incident was linked to a TikTok challenge, but that “any acts of violence” in the school system would not be tolerated, NOLA.com reported.
Some on Facebook, meanwhile, said they were outraged by the “sickening” footage and called for Jackson to go to prison.
“This makes me sick,” one woman wrote. “No teacher deserves this. She [Jackson] needs to be punished to the max and expelled.”