Over 50 high school students were suspended this week for participating in a TikTok challenge for Nardo Wick’s song “Who Want Smoke.”
The video showed teachers simulating gun violence by holding their cell phones and mimicking the use of weapons.
Tinley Park High School spokesperson Jamie Bonnema said the school was mis-led by the way in which the video was edited.
“From what we understand, they were told that they were going to be in a video kind of promoting school spirit,” Bonnema explained. “They had no clue that they would be made to look like they were holding guns. 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.”
Meanwhile, at West Creek High School in Tennessee, 17-year-old sophomore Christian Williams posted a similar video on TikTok, gaining nearly 500,000 likes before it was made private.
“I was at school and I was on my phone just going through random Instagram stories,” Williams explained. “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.’”
Jessica Goldberg, director of communications and marketing for CMCSS, said students were suspended due to a violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rules.
“School administration referenced the CMCSS Student Code of Conduct offense ‘Other Conduct Warranting Discipline,’” she explained. “This includes ‘any conduct which is disruptive, dangerous, harmful to the student or others, not otherwise specifically enumerated herein.’”