It’s an Internet craze that has been around for years. “The Cinnamon Challenge” features videos of people attempting to eat or swallow a tablespoonful of cinnamon without drinking anything.
Numerous teens across the world have taken part, filming their attempts to complete the challenge and posting the videos on youtube.
Yet while it’s all in good fun for many participants, a local school district who recently became aware of the trend is taking the challenge very seriously.
“It’s pretty terrifying when you have that kind of peer pressure,” said John Nodecker, the assistant superintendent of the Hatboro-Horsham School District.
Some of the videos feature older kids pressuring younger ones to eat the spice. Other videos show young children in what appears to be extreme pain after ingesting the cinnamon.
“What if something happens to her?” asked Nodecker, after watching one video in which a girl is by herself while taking the challenge.
The videos prompted the Hatboro-Horsham School District to send an email on Tuesday warning parents about the trend.
Some parents who spoke with NBC 10 said they never heard of the challenge before viewing the email. Others said that while they already knew about it, they didn’t understand its appeal.
“I think it’s horrible,” said Nicole Johnson of Philadelphia. “I think it’s stupid, it doesn’t make any sense.”
While many parents are applauding the district’s efforts, some teens who spoke with NBC 10 claimed the warning was a huge overreaction.
“It’s not harmful, it’s just cinnamon,” said local student Peter Brzezinski. “I don’t think parent letters are going to do anything.”
While Hatboro-Horsham School District officials said they’re unaware of any serious injuries caused by the challenge, they’re still hoping parents will take the time to talk to their kids in order to avoid any serious consequences.