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Tony Garcia may consider himself an “old retired teacher who knows not of certain things.”
But to more than 100,000 people on Facebook, he has a message well worth sharing.
In a post that’s now gone viral, Garcia wrote he doesn’t “understand influencers, YouTubers and TikTokers,” but wants to present another challenge of “old school lessons.”
The most important among them: to “be a good and kind human being.”
“How about you make that go viral? What say we get a million views of you doing something decent and humane and simply beautiful?” Garcia wrote on Facebook.
Garcia is an author and former teacher from Fort Collins, Colorado. He was prompted to pen his post, he told Fox News, after speaking with a friend he had once taught with.
“She told me our school had been vandalized. The next day, my brother told me his school had also been vandalized as a result of the TikTok devious licks challenge,” he said. “I saw that the challenge for October was to smack a teacher and I simply could not sit silent anymore.”
“Slap a teacher” comes in wake of students vandalizing school property as part of the “devious licks challenge,” in which kids filmed themselves destroying and stealing school property, to later share the footage on TikTok.
TikTok previously told Fox News that such challenges violate its policies and it’d “aggressively remove such content.” Content related to “slap a teacher” was not found on TikTok and “devious licks” videos have been removed from the platform.
Garcia addressed viral challenges in his post writing, “It takes much more courage and strength to be a loving, caring person than it does to vandalize a bathroom.”
Since he published his thoughts, Garcia said he’s received messages from all over the world and nearly every state. And while in his post he doubted whether his message would reach its intended audience, it has.
“They’re letting me know they are sharing the letter with their children, with their students,” he told Fox News. “A teacher in a small Indiana town told me her Assistant Principal read the letter during morning announcements to the 550 high schools they serve. That single act alone touched my heart.”
Parents and teachers are sending Garcia videos of kids engaged in acts of kindness.
It’s both “heart-warming and life-changing.” he said.
One school is taking Garcia’s “challenge” literally.
“A principal just sent me a message that she used the letter as a morning announcement for her 1,200 students,” he told FOX News, “as they participate in a TikTok challenge to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”
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