Officials of the Ministry of Education are seeking to put an immediate stop to local students engaging in a popular and dangerous prank dubbed "Jump Trip Challenge" or “Tripping Jump Challenge”.
The prank, which started overseas, has reportedly gone viral on social media, and is said to have taken off in several Corporate Area schools in Jamaica. This has resulted in severe injuries to at least three students.
One student, attending Meadowbrook High School, sustained a broken arm, while there are unconfirmed reports of two persons abroad succumbing to injuries sustained during the prank.
The Ministry of Education on Sunday issued a bulletin to regional directors, board chairmen and principals of all public educational Institutions, highlighting the dangers of the new prank.
According to the bulletin, several videos are being circulated on social media showing students jumping and violently falling to the ground after being tripped by their peers.
"School administrators are being cautioned against the popular prank within our schools' and are advised to take every precaution to stymie this practice", the bulletin noted.
The challenge involves three persons standing in a horizontal line with the person in the middle unaware of what will happen. The persons on both ends give the impression that all three persons will be jumping, but instead the two on either side, use their feet to trip the middle individual when they innocently jump, causing that person to fall to the floor.
Ministry officials described the prank as a horrific act and demonstrates a lack of good judgment on the part of those involved, and says it should not be tolerated.
The Bulletin notes that students are partaking in the prank, not realising that a fall of such a nature can cause serious physical, mental and emotional damage with great legal and financial implications.
The Ministry of Education is urging that parents be made aware of the prank, and enlist their support in reiterating among students, the importance of respect for each other, the need for empathy and for every child to feel safe and be safe.
Parents are also being urged to ensure that their children use social media responsibly.