What is 'Who Want Smoke' challenge? More than 50 students suspended over TikTok trend
School officials have issued a warning over a new TikTok challenge called ‘Who Want Smoke’ after over 50 students were reportedly suspended for pretending to hold guns in school. In separate states, students in at least two schools participated in the online challenge inspired by Nardo Wick’s song “Who Want Smoke".
The viral challenge, which has been widely condemned, involves people holding up their phones to the camera pretending as if it were a gun. At West Creek High in Clarksville, more than 50 students were suspended for participating in the challenge.
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Christian Williams, 17, told Clarksville Now that he enlisted many of his schoolmates after he came across the challenge while browsing social media. “I was at school and I was on my phone just going through random Instagram stories. 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,'” Williams said. Before Williams made the video private, it went viral and garnered almost half a million likes on TikTok.
A day after the video was posted, Williams was called into the principal's office. He was told that the video was against the student code of conduct and that a parent had complained about it. "School administration referenced the CMCSS Student Code of Conduct offense ‘Other Conduct Warranting Discipline,'" the school's director of communications, Jessica Goldberg, said. "This includes ‘any conduct which is disruptive, dangerous, harmful to the student or others, not otherwise specifically enumerated herein.” Everyone in the video was subsequently suspended, Williams, who is a sophomore, said.
At Tinley Park High School outside of Chicago, in a separate incident, students reportedly convinced teachers and even principal Dr Theresa Nolan to take part in the challenge. "From what we understand, they were told that they were going to be in a video kind of promoting school spirit. They had no clue that they would be made to look like they were holding guns," School district spokesperson Jamie Bonnema said, according to Fox32. "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."
Bonnema added that everyone who was involved in the challenge will have to face consequences. "It's being investigated. We have to talk to all the people involved. We have to find out the specifics of what happened," she said.