Published March 30, 2014
A Connecticut middle school is trying to rub out a dangerous new fad called the “Eraser Challenge.”
According to FoxCT, in the Eraser Challenge, students take an eraser and rub it back and forth across their arm while reciting the alphabet and coming up with a word for each letter.
Once they get to the letter Z, they stop and show off their reddened skin to friends.
Bethel Middle School officials sent a letter Thursday warning parents about the eraser game, calling it a “troubling” activity that teens across the country have been getting involved in.
School Principal Derek Muharem said he first found out about the game after several students told the school’s nurse they had marks on their arms after playing the game.
“What I found out was kids were sharing erasers, so as they broke the skin they were passing the eraser off to somebody else, body fluids being shared, and that’s a concern of mine,” Muharem told FoxCT.
He said to date about a dozen Bethel students have played the game.
“Please take the time to talk to your child about this to make sure they are not involved in this ridiculous and unsafe act,” Muharem said in his letter to parents.
Bethel Middle School sixth-grader Alexandra Luhrs told FoxCT that she has seen many of her classmates play the game, mostly in the hallways. The girl said playing the game never appealed to her.
“They were like, 'Oh it stings so bad,' but they just kept going,” Alexandra said.
Videos that have popped up on YouTube show the Eraser Challenge being played mostly by sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
"It's happening all over," Muharem told the Connecticut Post. "What concerns me is that kids see something and they try it because of peer pressure. Our job is to keep kids safe."
Doctors say the rubbing can leave scars on the skin and cause infections.