Pennsylvania middle school students impersonate teachers with over 20 TikTok accounts

Controversy at a school in Chester County has caught national attention, sparking concern among school officials, staff and parents.

The Great Valley School District says middle school students set up 22 fake TikTok accounts to impersonate and demean staff members.

Some of the accounts, which were first created in February, showed racist, homophobic and sexually inappropriate content.

Officials say it's the first known mass attack of its kind on teachers in the United States.


"It saddens us to know that the students to whom these teachers dedicate their time and talents every day would misuse technology in a way that causes teachers un-deserved stress and emotional hardship," district leaders said in a statement.

The district says it is difficult to take any legal action, because the accounts were made off school grounds.

Currently, they are working to regulate cellphones at schools and educate students about the dangers of social media.

The superintendent of the Great Valley School District held a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss the TikTok scandal. 

"Our students' behavior is truly wounding of the staff at Great Valley. I want to assure our staff we have your back. We’re here to support you and hold students accountable.," said Superintendent Dan Goffredo.

The superintendent says though the district investigated, contacted local police, and tracked down some of the accounts, more faux TikToks may still be out there. 

"Unfortunately, we do know that accounts have been created throughout the summer months. It’s disheartening," said Superintendent Goffredo. 

The Great Valley School District says it has taken action against students it knows created some of the false accounts but wouldn’t say what the actions are, and argues it’s limited by the students’ right to free speech.

The head of the local teachers union says her members want to instruct students on how to responsibly use social media.

"We’re heartbroken because what we do is educate our students. We never want to see anyone make choices that could hurt their reputations," said Vikki Salvatico, Greater Valley Education Association. 

The local chief of police along with the Chester County D.A. are "monitoring the situation" while an area resident wants a get-tough approach.

"There should be criminal charges. They have to learn at a young age you can’t do something and smacked on the hand you’ll be punished for what you do," said Clarence Fanning, Malvern resident.