It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. The old adage proves true time and time again.
A new social media trend called the “Tripping Jump Challenge” is raising serious concerns after a young girl reported being seriously injured by other children with whom she thought she was filming a harmless, innocent video.
The “challenge” involves someone taking video of three people standing side-by-side with the person in the middle being completely clueless as to what is about to happen. The two people on either side take turns jumping and when it’s the person in the middle’s turn to jump, they do so thinking they’re just filming a slo-mo jumping video. The “joke” is the two on either side sweep their legs out from under them as they jump and they come crashing to the ground.
At the beginning of the month, a 10-year-old girl from Columbus, Ohio was tricked into this challenge, but when it was all said and done, no one was laughing. In the video, the prank went off as planned but when Journey Bonner was tripped by her “friends,” she slammed her head hard on the school’s concrete. The gasps are audible on the video.
“What they did was mean, it was cruel and it was evil,” Bonner, a fifth-grader at Berwick Alternative, said in an interview with local news outlet 10 TV.
10 TV reports she didn’t know anything about the challenge and was under the impression she was just making a video with friends. In the clip, you can see for yourself the force at which poor Journey’s head slammed into the concrete. It’s enough to tug on any parent’s heartstrings.
“This is a very, very serious prank that feels like an assault,” Journey’s mother, T’Marla Bonner, said. She recounted the school nurse called her to report that Journey was hurt on the playground in what she referred to as a “tripping” incident and that she had a large, circular swelling on the back of her head.
“I instantly wanted to know what happened,” T’Marla said.
According to T’Marla, the principal informed her that if she wanted to press charges the school would support it. This statement caught T’Marla off guard at first, until she saw the video.
“Then, when I seen the video, it just broke my heart,” she said.
A statement from Jacqueline Bryant of Columbus City Schools says, “it is unfortunate that any child is injured as a result of one of these social media challenges.”
Here’s the whole statement from Bryant:
It is unfortunate that any child is injured as a result of one of these social media challenges. We want our young people to understand the seriousness of these social media challenges. Safety begins with each student making smart choices on the actions they take. The administrative team immediately addressed building-wide expectations with all students and staff. The appropriate disciplinary action has been taken. We need our parents to help in reinforcing this message at home and in talking with their young person about making the best decisions to keep themselves safe. They should emphasize the dangers of social media challenges. And that it’s OK to say no to pressure from friends or peers who put their safety at risk. We want all students to come to school ready to learn, and to think about the safety of themselves and everyone around them.
“The school has a responsibility and I feel like they aren’t holding themselves to any accountability for this,” T’Marla asserted. After six days, Journey’s head was still swollen.
“I feel OK,” Journey said. “But, when you just touch it, it just hurts.” The impact has been more than just physical. Now, Journey says she no longer feels safe at school and wants everyone to know this challenge isn’t all fun and game and that people do actually get hurt and will continue to get hurt.
This kind of treatment amongst children is a direct result of the decreasing influence of basic biblical morality in our society. Parents aren’t teaching their children compassion, empathy, or kindness like they used to. Meanwhile, this gap is being filled by peers who are equally lacking in such education.
Parents, insist on raising your children with the guidance of the Bible to instill in them the kind of character, integrity, and morals that would prevent them from treating other children in this manner. It truly does begin at home and the school district was right to call on parents to help stop this “prank” from happening again.
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