Parents of L.J. Alleman Students Facing Expulsion Cry Foul Over Photo of Teachers Making ‘Gun Gestures’
The controversy surrounding a viral TikTok trend that has more than 20 L.J. Alleman students facing expulsion just took another interesting turn.
Parents of the students believe that the discipline over alleged videos that are centered around popular TikTok trends ('Who Want Smoke' and 'Spinback Werk' challenges) was overblown and while their children should face consequences based on their actions "the punishment needs to fit the crime."
If you aren't familiar with the story, there have been multiple reports over the last few days from local media outlets. You can see the story we posted about it here.
Yesterday, some parents who have been dealing with the repercussions of what was described to them as a "zero tolerance" policy cried foul after a photo of L.J. Alleman teachers and/or faculty was directly compared to the video content that has landed their children in hot water.
The photo of the alleged teachers and/or faculty members shows them dressed up in cowboy gear for a United Way costume contest that celebrated local educators through "Pin Patrol."
The Alleman teachers went with a western theme using a "Wanted" poster as the backdrop for their photo submission.
The photo was posted in the local Facebook group "Whatz Goin on in Acadiana" where parents and members of the community had mixed reactions and plenty of questions.
"Gun gestures" seemed to be the main topic of discussion as they are at the center of what reportedly led to the discipline that the students are currently facing. Using cell phones in a gun-like manner is one major part of both the "Who Want Smoke Challenge" and the "Spinback Werk Challenge."
While it is widely understood that people who do these TikTok challenges are just having fun with the trend and not necessarily making any credible or pointed threats, the same understanding is true for anyone who dresses up like cowboys in a wild west-themed photo with finger guns.
While neither the videos nor the photo is believed to pose any credible threat, that's exactly the point that a lot of the parents and commenters were trying to make by comparing the two.
Still, some still hold a firm opinion that there should be zero tolerance for any "gun fingers," "gun gestures," or anything that may seem like a weapon.
While they are fully aware that rules are rules, the parents I've spoken to aren't asking for their children to be off the hook. They believe there should definitely be discipline, but context should be considered when handing down a punishment.
Context is important in situations like this considering the fact that "gun gestures" are commonly celebrated in internet challenges, dances, and pop culture trends—one being a local dance craze attached to the legendary 2019 LSU football program.
Throughout the record-setting championship season,1992 gangsta-bounce street classic "Get the Gat" saw a massive resurgence due to a challenge started by Subtweet Shawn.
LSU players were seen doing the dance, both on the field and in the locker room. Soon, "Get the Gat" spilled into the stands at Tiger Stadium and eventually would become an anthem for the entire Tiger Nation—blaring from tailgates, cars, and anywhere the song could be played.
The creator of "Get The Gat," NOLA bounce rap legend Lil Elt, definitely saw numbers for the song rise higher than they did when he first released the song in the 90s thanks to tens of thousands of videos that went viral throughout the season on platforms like TikTok, Twitter, Instagram and more.
The "Get the Gat" craze reached its peak when LSU visited the White House after winning the NCAA National Championship.
Circling back to the original issue involving the students at L.J. Alleman, one Facebook user by the name of Remmus Nedlob made a lengthy post that juxtaposed the "Who Want Smoke" TikTok trend with the viral craze behind "Get the Gat" saying that one is acceptable and celebrated while the other is literally being criminalized.
To be fair, we are comparing the behavior of college athletes and the general public to the behavior of 8th graders and middle school students, but much like the photo that was shared of the Alleman teachers in cowboy gear, context is key.
Whether or not LPSS cares about context in this situation over the letter of the law has yet to be seen but in the meantime, parents say they want nothing more than normalcy back when it comes to their children.