- Students at a Tennessee high school were suspended for a TikTok challenge, viral posts allege.
- The trend involved pantomiming holding a gun using a cell phone or hands as a prop.
- The school district did not confirm suspensions but said it was aware of the video on Friday.
Several viral TikTok videos allege that high school students from Clarksville, Tennessee, were suspended from school after participating in a viral TikTok trend in which they pantomime drawing guns at school, using cell phones or their hands as the prop.
As The Daily Dot reported, several students at West Creek High School (WCHS) posted videos on TikTok claiming that over 50 students had been suspended in relation to a now-deleted TikTok video that was part of the “Who Want Smoke??” gun-pantomiming trend from the platform.
The incident follows several months of heightened attention towards TikTok trends, schools, and safety, which has resulted in hoaxes like the false “slap a teacher” challenge spreading on social media.
Real TikTok challenges have caused panic among administrators during the 2021-2022 school year, though, including the “devious licks” challenge, which saw students posting about stealing equipment from their schools. Clarksville Now reported in October that schools in Clarksville-Montgomery County, the district that includes WCHS, had over $20,000 worth of damage in relation to the challenge.
The original video appears to have been posted by TikTok user @0fficial.lilchriss and is currently unavailable. @0fficial.lilchriss said in a subsequent video with 2.5 million views that over 50 students had been suspended, a claim reiterated in another post from a TikTok user claiming to be a student.
Jessica Forman-Goldberg, the director of communications and marketing at Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS), told Insider that CMCSS could not confirm details regarding disciplinary measures.
Forman-Goldberg confirmed that the TikTok video, which showed WCHS students “pantomiming actions involving weapons at school,” surfaced on Friday. She said that administrators referenced a part of the district code of conduct regarding “Other Conduct Warranting Discipline,” which includes “any conduct which is disruptive, dangerous, harmful to the student or others” that isn’t explicitly outlined in the code of conduct.
According to posts from @0fficial.lilchriss and Instagram user Lexis Gambino (@lexisgambino), who told The Daily Dot her sister attended the school, police were also present and spoke with students. Officer Scott Beaubien, a Public Information Officer at the Clarksville Police Department, told Insider that Clarksville Police officers were doing a “walk through” at the school and were asked to speak to students about the dangers of such online challenges.
@official.lilchriss said in a follow-up video regarding the incident that a police officer told students that the video could result in a felony charge or jail time. Gambino told The Daily Dot that her sister and mother were present during a meeting in which students were suspended. She told The Daily Dot that an officer present told students that if he saw them doing that at school, “he’d shoot them and go straight home to his family,” and alleged that he told a student he would keep her “on his radar.” Gambino did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
When asked about those allegations, Beaubien said that “according to staff members at West Creek HS and officers present, comments made by CPD officers were appropriate and professional.”
Forman-Goldberg told Insider that the district and law enforcement had “communicated with families earlier in the year regarding the consequences of social media challenges performed on school grounds.”
@0fficial.lilchriss and Gambino did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Courtesy By INSIDER