Administrators at a Connecticut middle school warned parents this week of a "troubling" new outbreak of an activity called the "eraser challenge" that has students intentionally injuring themselves.
Bethel Middle School principal Derek Muharem sent a letter to parents on Monday explaining what he says is a "troubling 'activity' that teens across America are getting involved in."
[sharequote align="center"]"...troubling 'activity' that teens across America are getting involved in."[/sharequote]
"Students have explained the Eraser Challenge this way: kids take an eraser and begin ‘erasing’ their skin while saying the alphabet and coming up with a word for each letter," Muharem wrote. "Once they get to the letter Z, they stop and then compare the injury to their friends."
"Most students use their arms to do this, from their elbow to their wrist — however, it can be anywhere on their body," he added.
According to Muharem, at least a dozen students at his school have taken part in the activity.
“What I found out was kids were sharing erasers, so as they broke the skin they were passing the eraser off to somebody else, body fluids being shared, and that’s a concern of mine,” he told WTIC-TV.
Parents of students at the school expressed concern and were urged by Muharem in his letter to speak with their children about the dangers.
“I don’t understand why kids are mutilating themselves or doing things to hurt themselves,” parent John Luhrs told WTIC-TV.
“I just thought it was strange. Very strange things these children are doing,” added another parent, Lara Fusara.
A YouTube search using the term "eraser challenge" indicates that the activity has been around for some time, suggesting Bethel Middle School is dealing with a new outbreak. Young individuals can be seen in multiple online videos engaging in the challenge while recording themselves. Others show painful scars and warn others not to get swallowed into the hype.
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