TikTok's "New Teacher Challenge" is currently targeting children, which may have a negative impact on the younger generations. The new online trend sparked comments from different disability speakers.
TikTok’s New Teacher Challenge Targets Young Kids https://t.co/xeSuDQ4u17 #SOCIALMEDIA #Newteacherchallenge #TikTok #tiktokchallenge pic.twitter.com/Nxm8TwHLJQ — Parentology (@GetParentology) August 4, 2020
Melissa Blake, a disability activist, and a freelance writer shared her thoughts regarding the viral video.
"Oh, look," I deadpan as I read the latest message from someone letting me know that they saw my photo on TikTok being shared in a hurtful way," she said.
"As a disabled woman, people ridiculing and mocking my appearance is practically the most predictable thing about social media," she added.
Melissa was born with a Freeman-Sheldon, a muscular and genetic bone disorder. She said she received negative comments because of her appearance, with some people calling her "disgusting" and even comparing her to a "blobfish."
The freelance writer said that she thought she had seen it all. However, Melissa discovered that TikTok's new viral challenge is also mocking disabled or unique people. It is a prank in which parents show their kids photos of disabled people, fooling their children that they will be the new teachers.
The kids' reactions were filmed just for a laugh, showing how the youngsters were frightened and embarrassed.
Other motivational speakers also voiced out their concerns
Lizzie Velasquez, another disabled motivational speaker, also voiced her concern regarding TikTok's trending challenge. She posted her reaction about a mom's video, who filmed her son's terrified reaction when he saw Velasquez's photo.
She called out Tiktok, explaining that people should not teach their children to be scared of someone who is disabled or somebody who doesn't look like them. Velasquez pointed out that teaching empathy and being kind to other people should start from people's homes.
View this post on InstagramI knew this was coming. When I saw this trend start I knew it was coming. Some have been cute and funny but then it starts to cross the line. Showing your kids a photo of someone who looks different in hopes of them having a scared reaction is vile. I’ve seen this trend be done with people who are disabled and I’ve seen this trend be done with BABIES who have Down Syndrome. They don’t have the platform to speak on this but I do and I know I have an army of positive people right next to me. I will say this over and over and over. The people you put in photos or videos are human beings!! We have feelings and we have something we work on everyday called self confidence. Please PLEASE don’t teach your children that it’s funny to be afraid of someone who doesn’t look like them. When adults are upset their kids are being bullied, this is the perfect example that teaching kindness and acceptance starts AT HOME. Just be kind to one another. We need it now more than ever!! A post shared by Lizzie Velasquez (@littlelizziev) on Aug 8, 2020 at 2:39pm PDT
On the other hand, Melissa Blake said that the new prank revealed how disability representation is essential, especially to the younger generation since there 612 million disabled adults currently living in the United States. She also explained that it is crucial to normalize seeing people who are don't look like you or your family members or friends.
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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.