Middle Schoolers Impersonate Teachers with Bogus TikTok Accounts, Post Vulgar Content

TikTok app on an iPhone
by College Fix Staff


Earlier this year, students at a Pennsylvania middle school created over 20 TikTok accounts that impersonated teachers at their school.

Unfortunately, many of these ersatz Great Valley Middle School teacher accounts included “racist, homophobic, [and] sexually inappropriate content.”

The New York Times referred to the recently revealed scandal as the “first known group TikTok attack of its kind by middle schoolers on their teachers in the United States.”

According to Times, one of the bogus accounts impersonated a Spanish instructor which included a photo of the teacher and her family with the caption “Do you like to touch kids? Answer: Sí.”

Another account posted “a collaged photo with the heads of two male teachers pasted onto a man and woman partially naked in bed.” Yet another had a teacher at his wedding with his wife cropped out and in her place a male student. The creator then commented on the image “I’m gonna touch you.”

Several students ended up being suspended for the social media shenanigans, and Principal Edward Souders (pictured) ripped into the 8th grade during a lunch period.

Principal Edward SoudersThe Philadelphia Inquirer reports the school district doesn’t know precisely how many students were involved, but two female students, using one of the bogus accounts, posted that it was all a “joke” that had been “blown out of proportion.”

“We never meant for it to get this far, obviously,” one of the students said in a video, according to the NYT. “I never wanted to get suspended.”

The other said “Move on. Learn to joke. I am 13 years old and you’re like 40 going on 50.”

The two also indicated they would continue the deceptive videos, but make them private: “We’re back, and we’ll be posting again. And we are going to private all the videos at the beginning of next school year, ’cause then they can’t do anything.”

However, this message was deleted by the students after the NYT asked the district to inform parents about its article.

From the NYT piece:

A few days after learning of the videos, [Souders] emailed the parents of eighth graders, describing the impostor accounts as portraying “our teachers in a disrespectful manner.”

The school also held an eighth-grade assembly on responsible technology use.

But the school district said it had limited options to respond. Courts generally protect students’ rights to off-campus free speech, including parodying or disparaging educators online — unless the students’ posts threaten others or disrupt school.

“While we wish we could do more to hold students accountable, we are legally limited in what action we can take when students communicate off campus during nonschool hours on personal devices,” Daniel Goffredo, the district’s superintendent, said in a statement.

Great Valley School District Superintendent Daniel Goffredo said in a statement he lamented that students “would misuse technology in a way that causes teachers undeserved stress and emotional hardship.”

District union head Nikki Salvatico said at a March school board meeting that “every time an iPad is opened in the classroom, our teachers fear that pictures or videos may be taken and will be shared on social media platforms, as a cruel meme.”

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College Fix Staff
Photo “TikTok” by Olivier Bergeron. Background Photo “Great Valley Middle School” by Great Valley Middle School.



Appeared at and reprinted from TheCollegeFix.com

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