Parents, officials concerned after new 'eraser challenge' gains popularity
DE SOTO, Kan. (WDAF) -- There are countless videos online showing kids rubbing erasers on their arms and legs -- doing it because of peer pressure, boredom, or just ignorance about what can happen.
It's not something new; some of the videos are years old, but others were posted just in the past week. Now one metro area school is dealing with the problem.
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"I thought it was the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life, " said one parent, Megan Marquis. "I thought it was crazy."
See images of another dangerous challenge that went viral last year:
Parents of Mill Creek Middle School students received a letter from the school about the "Eraser Challenge".
"Kids come up with some pretty crazy things," Marquis added.
"Our administration at Mill Creek Middle School wanted to be proactive and just let parents know something that they've noticed, so they can have a conversation with their children," said Alvie Cater, the De Soto District Spokesperson
Cater says about a dozen students in the seventh grade were involved in the game where kids "erase" their skin while saying the alphabet and coming up with a word for each letter.
"They thought it would be kind of cool to take an eraser and burn their skin," added Cater.
Once they get the the letter 'z', they stop and compare their injuries.
"Sometimes that can burn, also break the skin, and it can scab over, and also could cause scarring," Cater said. "Some of these students would go to the nurse for a bandage, to have it cleaned...and she saw a pattern."
The students told them they found out about this "game" through social media.
"Some of the answers they got from the students were, well we were watching it online and the people doing it to themselves said it didn't hurt, that it wasn't bad," said Cater.
It`s called the Eraser Challenge - you can find videos all over YouTube -- and apparently it's gaining some momentum through peer pressure.
"Kids do some pretty silly things to be part of the crowd," said Marquis.
Marquis says her kids didn't participate -- nor did they know about it...but she's thankful the school notified her.
"I think it`s great that they do notify parents, because something could go under the radar or be missed by parents," added Marquis.
Cater says they wanted parents to know this is happening -- hoping they to talk to their kids so they don`t hurt themselves.
"Also to be more aware of what they`re doing online through social media when they`re at home," Cater said. "And say just because your friend may be doing it, is not a good reason for you to do it."
This is the letter sent out to parents:
We would like to inform you of a student game that is being played at Mill Creek that can cause skin irritation and possible scarring. This game involves a student taking an eraser and repeatedly rubbing it across their skin. Our school nurse has recently assessed many students with skin abrasions that have also scabbed over, which appear to be resulting from engaging in this game. We are bringing this to your attention so you can look out for possible signs that your children are playing this game. You may see skin marks on their hands or fingers that are one to two inches in length in a straight line. We will be addressing with individual students as needed, but we would ask that you address this concern with your children at home. If our school nurse continues to witness these same signs, she will reach out to you to let you know that it is still going on.
The link below provides some information of this same concern that happened at a middle school in Connecticut a few years ago.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.
Thank you for your support in addressing the issue.
Mill Creek Middle School
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