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TikTok, a video-sharing social network app popular among school-age children, may have played a role in the head injuries sustained by a 12-year-old Gillette student last week at Conestoga Elementary School, according to Campbell County Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds.
The incident, which is alleged to have occurred on or around Friday, March 6, involved three Conestoga students, including an 11-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy and the 12-year-old girl who was injured. The minors are said to have been participating in the viral ‘Skull Breaker Challenge.’
The social media prank, or challenge, began in January with a TikTok video that spread around Daytona Beach, Florida, according to reports by the Daytona Beach Journal. In it, three students stand side by side and, together, all jump into the air. While the middle jumper is mid-air, the others stick out a leg, tripping the middle jumper, who then falls to the ground.
Despite its telling name, injuries are being reported across the U.S. resulting from kids’ participation in the TikTok ‘Skull Breaker Challenge,’ including one New Jersey minor who suffered a seizure and concussion, according to The Office of the Camden County Prosecutor. The two other minors involved in the New Jersey incident have been charged with third-degree aggravated assault and third-degree endangering an injured victim.
By participating in the challenge, eerily reminiscent of the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ online craze, youth could suffer a broken back, seizure, concussion or worse.
The injured Conestoga student was taken to Campbell County Memorial Hospital on Saturday, March 8, where she reported to have been treated for headache and head injuries, and released, said Reynolds.
Her parents reportedly told officials they are not pressing charges against the school, the other students involved or those students’ parents at this time.
When asked about the incident or for general disciplinary practices in such instances, one Conestoga employee said she was not aware the incident had occurred. Another employee, who disclosed only that she was one of several school secretaries, declined to comment, as did Campbell County School District Director of Student Support Services Kip Farnum. District Deputy Superintendent Kirby Eisenhauer could not be reached for comment.