Middle-schoolers impersonate teachers with fake TikTok accounts— using family photos to make sick jokes about pedophilia (2024)

Students at Pennsylvania middle school created nearly two dozen TikTok accounts impersonating teachers to make vile jokes and disgusting claims about them and their families — including that they are pedophiles.

And the fake TikToks are still spreading, despite a crackdown by administrators — who said some of the accounts are protected by the First Amendment.

And some of the eight-graders are defiant, even after the police got involved.

“Move on. Learn to joke. I am 13 years old, and you’re like 40 going on 50,” one student said, according to the New York Times — before insisting they would continue to post videos under a private account “’cause then they can’t do anything.”

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The students at the Great Valley Middle School in Malvern — a rich, leafy suburb about an hour west of Philadelphia — made at least 22 TikTok accounts under the names of teachers and staff beginning around February, where they harassed the targets with sexualized, hom*ophobic and racist jokes.

One account made under the name of Great Valley Spanish Teacher Patrice Motz used the handle @patrice.motz, and included a photo of her at the beach with her husband and young children.

“Do you like to touch kids?” a caption on the video read, followed by the answer “Sí.”

Another account posted a picture where a pair of male teachers’ faces were superimposed on the bodies of a man and woman half-naked in a bed, while a third made in the name of social studies teacher Shawn Whitelock’s hijacked a photo from his wedding and cropped out his wife to make it appear he was marrying a student council member instead.

“I’mgonna touch you,” the account, @shawn.whitelock, commented on the post.

Accounts impersonating at least 20 staff members — roughly a quarter of the entire faculty at the school — were made with photos pilfered from personal social media accounts.

The posts racked up hundreds of views, comments, and follows from students, the Times reported.

Teachers targeted by the accounts described feeling “kicked in the stomach” and violated by the posts — and fearful for what social media is doing to teens.

“Many of my students spend hours and hours and hours on TikTok, and I think it’s just desensitized them to the fact that we’re real people,” said Bettina Scibilia, an English teacher of of nearly 20 years.

“They didn’t feel what a violation this was to create these accounts and impersonate us and mock our children and mock what we love,” said Scibilia, who was targeted by two different accounts.

Motz said the accounts were “so deflating,” that they even left her questioning why she was continuing to teach at the school where she’s been for 14 years.

Whitelock, a teacher of 27 years, said he felt his reputation had been attacked.

“An impersonator assassinated my character — and slandered me and my family in the process,” he told the Times.

A several of students were suspended after the accounts came to the attention of administrators.

But, beyond informing parents, admonishing the eighth-graders and holding an assembly to educate students about safety online, the school was left with little recourse, administrations said.

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“While it may be easy to react in a way that suggests that students should have been more heavily disciplined in school, some — but not all — of their behavior is protected by the right of free speech and expression,” Great Valley School District superintendent Daniel Goffredo said in a statement on the district’s website.

“I implore you also to use the summer to have conversations with your children about the responsible use of technology, especially social media. What seemingly feels like a joke has deep and long-lasting impacts, not just for the targeted person but for the students themselves. Our best defense is a collaborative one,” Goffredo wrote.

During a press conference Monday, Goffredo said accounts have continued to crop up into the summer months, even as both the school and police monitor social media for them

“We do know that accounts have continued to be created throughout the summer months. It’s disheartening, it’s embarrassing,and disappointing that our students are continuing some of this conduct,” Goffredo said.

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Though some accounts have continued to appear, most have been deleted — including one in which two girls involved issued an attempt at an apology.

“We never meant for it to get this far, obviously. I never wanted to get suspended,” one of the girls said.

The school district told The Post administrators met with teachers one-on-one to discuss the situation, and noted that it had removed photos of all teachers from the school’s website directory.

Middle-schoolers impersonate teachers with fake TikTok accounts— using family photos to make sick jokes about pedophilia (2024)

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