Children considering participating in the TikTok prank the “Skull Breaker Challenge” are putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury or even death, parents and authorities warn.
A 12-year-old Alabama boy suffered a broken wrist after two other children did the challenge on him at the Ozark Boys and Girls Club, his mother Teri Smith told WTVY-TV.
“He was not prepared and had no idea what was happening,” Smith said.
The challenge requires three people to stand in a line and take turns jumping, but the person in the middle is unaware that the two others will kick their feet out from under them once they jump.
“The purpose of it is for them to fall backward,” Smith said. “That's why they call it skull breaking. That's because it's intended to break the skull when you fall.”
In Florida, a 16-year-old girl said she reluctantly agreed to jump when other students said they were working on a video for a school project.
"I jumped really high, and I remember them kicking me off my feet, and I fell on my head,” the teen told WSVN-TV. An attorney for the girl told the news station he plans to take legal action against the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system, claiming the district has not done anything to stop children from carrying out the dangerous prank.
“Someone has to be held responsible for these horrific acts,” the attorney said.
The district said in a statement: "Parents are urged to speak with their children about the responsible use of social media, and to remind them that respect and empathy for others is far more important than any online trend." According to a published report, the district has disciplined three students.
Police have also sent a warning to children considering participating in the so-called challenge.
“If the prank is deemed reckless and somebody get hurt because of it, they can face assault charges,” said Lt. Jessie Kellum of the Ozark Police Department.