Mumbai: Schools believe TikTok's skull-breaker challenge not viral yet; plan to hold workshops

Updated: Feb 20, 2020, 09:23 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

While city colleges plan to issue advisories, schools on the other hand are trying to find an appropriate way to broach the subject with children

Screengrab of video posted on Twitter shows three men perform the dangerous act
Screengrab of video posted on Twitter shows three men perform the dangerous act

A new challenge, spreading like wildfire on social media and on TikTok, has left parents and educational institutions worried. Several parents from across the world have flagged the 'skull-breaker' act as deadly, but city colleges and schools are confused about whether to talk to students about the dangers associated with the game.

One of the posts on Twitter warned that the act can either "break skull" or "cause some serious problem". One person from Saudi Arabia tweeted a video of three young men performing the act and wrote, "A person dies during this new #Skull_Breaker challenge..." In the video, the person who fell did not move at all.

Authorities in North America, Europe and Saudi Arabia have already warned their citizens about the dangers of the challenge. However, Indian authorities have not yet issued any advisory.

The life of the person in the centre is at risk in this 'challenge'
The life of the person in the centre is at risk in this 'challenge'

The challenge involves three people who stand side by side. First, two standing on either sides jump and then the one at the centre. Life of the person in the middle is at risk, because when s/he leaps, the other two kick his/her leg causing that person to fall down hard. A Std VIII student in Sangli became the victim of the deadly challenge. According to reports, Prithviraj Desai injured his hand, leg and back while participating in the game.

Though no case has been reported in the city yet, some educational institutions are planning to warn students of the dangers of this challenge, while others are planning to deal with it without mentioning about it.

Jai Hind College principal Ashok Wadia, who admitted that he did not know about the challenge, said, "It would be on my priority to make the students of my college aware about the dangerous after effects of the action. I will issue an advisory... that youngsters should not indulge in any such viral trends...to ensure they don't suffer any physical or mental injury." He added that educational institutions must talk to their students about this and encourage the students to spread awareness among their peers.

However, Rajhans Vidyalaya director Deepshikha Srivastav believes that holding a dialogue might stoke curiosity among students, who still aren't aware about the challenge, to try it.

"We as a school are not sure if there should be an awareness campaign, particularly on this topic, because if there are some children who are not aware of it, they might try it out of curiosity," Srivastav said, adding that they would rather prefer to make their regular workshops on responsible use of internet more rigorous.

Principal of Balmohan Vidyamandir, Rupa Roy, is also in favour of keeping mum on the topic as of now. "We are aware of the challenge, but no cases have come forward yet. Since nobody is seen practising it in the periphery, we don't want to discuss the topic as yet. However, we already have special sessions not only for students but also for parents explaining them the importance of responsible use of internet," she said.

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