SCHOOL officials have issued a warning over a ‘Who Want Smoke’ TikTok challenge after more than 50 students were reportedly suspended for pretending to hold guns in school.
Students in at least two schools in separate states have made headlines for participating in the online challenge inspired by Nardo Wick’s song “Who Want Smoke."
The challenge sees people holding up their phones to the camera as if it were a weapon and simulating gun violence.
More than 50 students at West Creek High in Clarksville, Tennessee, were suspended after taking part in the challenge, as reported by Clarksville Now.
Christian Williams, 17, told the outlet he enlisted dozens of his schoolmates for the challenge after he came across it while browsing social media.
“I was at school and I was on my phone just going through random Instagram stories. I saw the trend on someone’s page and I’m like, ‘Oh, we need to do this, we need to do this. We could probably go viral for this,'” Williams said.
The video did indeed go viral, getting nearly half a million likes on TikTok before Williams made it private.
The day after he posted the video, he was called into the principal's office and informed that a parent had complained about the video, which was against the student code of conduct.
“School administration referenced the CMCSS Student Code of Conduct offense ‘Other Conduct Warranting Discipline,'" the school's director of communications Jessica Goldberg told Clarksville Now.
"This includes ‘any conduct which is disruptive, dangerous, harmful to the student or others, not otherwise specifically enumerated herein,'”
Williams, a sophomore, claimed everyone in the video was suspended.
In a separate incident at Tinley Park High School outside of Chicago, students allegedly tricked teachers and even principal Dr Theresa Nolan into participating in the challenge.
"From what we understand, they were told that they were going to be in a video kind of promoting school spirit. They had no clue that they would be made to look like they were holding guns," School district spokesperson Jamie Bonnema said, according to Fox32.
"They had no clue that their phone was going to be used like that. The video is edited pretty heavily to make them look a specific way. So completely misled by a student at the school.
"We were extremely disappointed when we saw this video."
The video was posted to Facebook, sparking anger among many who found the teachers' involvement shocking.
Bonnema said there would be consequences for everyone involved.
"It's being investigated. We have to talk to all the people involved. We have to find out the specifics of what happened," she added.
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