Local News

Students Warned Of Danger Of ‘Eraser Challenge’

BETHEL — Bethel Middle School is warning parents about a dangerous new game. It’s called “The Eraser Challenge” and videos popping up on YouTube show the game being played by mostly teenagers.

To play the game, teens will use an eraser and rub it back and forth on their arm between the wrist and elbow while reciting the alphabet and coming up with a word for each letter.

Once they reach the letter Z, the opponents will compare their wounds.

Bethel Middle School Principal Derek Muharem says a random collection of a dozen students in different games that are part of the challenge. 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.

On Thursday, Muharem sent a letter to parents of every student at the school asking parents to talk to their kids about the challenge and explain the dangers. (Click here to read the  letter.)

Muharem is also concerned about injuries potentially caused by 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,” said Muharem.

Bethel Middle sixth grader Alexandra Luhrs says she has seen many of her classmates play the game, mostly in the hallways. Luhrs says playing the game never appealed to her.

“They were like, oh it stings so bad, but they just kept going,” said Luhrs.

Educators worry peer pressure is driving the trend.

Many parents we spoke to weren’t aware of the game before they were notified and were puzzled by it.

“I don’t understand why kids are mutilating themselves or doing things to hurt themselves,” said John Luhrs, parent of a Bethel Middle School student.

“I just thought it was strange. Very strange things these children are doing,” said Lara Fusara, a parent of a Bethel Middle School student.

The principal says no students will be reprimanded for their actions in the challenge. The goal is to make sure teenagers don’t hurt themselves.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

33 Comments to “Students Warned Of Danger Of ‘Eraser Challenge’”

    john said:
    March 30, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I played this game in 1985……..

      LR said:
      March 30, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      I remember playing this game in Utah while in Middle School. This really is nothing new and I promise is a phase the kids will grow out of. I’m now an educator and a Military officer. I survived. Let’s not get over protective of our youth that little games like this make National headlines.

      markdavidson said:
      March 30, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      me too

    Craig said:
    March 30, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Played this in the early to mid 80’s myself. Then grew up, lol. People worry and make so much out of the smallest things. Let’s focus on the real problems kids are dealing with.

    Ray said:
    March 30, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    This isn't the least bit new. As a middle schooler in the late 70s, this was a common game. By high school we were too cool for it and it became yet another silly phase that fell by the wayside. I do understand concern for exchange of bodily fluids (one just never knows). Aside from that, however, it's just a silly game. Relax!

    Kate said:
    March 30, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Not a new game. Kids have been playing this for years. I say kids, but I mean boys. It's not a game girls would typically play.

    Willy Maykit said:
    March 30, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Kiddie stuff.
    In my day, two people put their forearms side by side, and you layed a freshly-lit cigarette there.
    First one to pull away, loses!

    dave said:
    March 30, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    OMG! I did this in the mid to late 70s! Get over it. Gubment needs to piss off over trivial shit.

    sharron said:
    March 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Dangerous game? How silly. Let them do it. At least they are exercising their mind. You might want to advise them to use their own eraser. A little red arm is nothing. Think of the really dangerous things they could be doing. Stop micromanaging these kids and let them be kids. I love the movie "Christmas Story" with Ralphie. Look at all the things kids did in the 40's and 50's. This is part of growing up. Ralphie even got "bullied". OMG. How do you think kids learn how to get along and resolve their differences unless they have some conflict? That is why we have a nation of "wusses". Parents and teachers need to be there to see that things do not get out of hand, however, we/they would be a lot better off without parent and teachers being "helicopters".

    Tony said:
    March 30, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Congress needs to act immediately. We must raise taxes and pass the “don’t use erasers on your skin while reciting the alphabet”, or the “dueiyswrta” act!!

    Bob said:
    March 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Administrators and teachers need to stop playing nanny. Unless they want to take full responsibility, Which they will not. Teach the kids and stop worrying about foolish games that we all played in school.
    Oh No,,, Duck, Duck, Goose

    Adam said:
    March 30, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    This is probably one of the dumbest pieces of non-news I think I have ever read.

    markdavidson said:
    March 30, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    slow news day

    Adam said:
    March 30, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    I bet the reporter who wrote this breaking news story had big dreams of being a cub reporter, covering the Washington beat, writing articles about the important decisions being made by America's top policy makers. Going under cover to investigate cooperations beating up the little guy. Personal interest stories about long lost family members being torn apart by the ravages of war and meeting each other for the first time in over 70 years. However, he ended up covering Eraser-Gate at Bethel Middle School.

    McClenny said:
    March 31, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    I still have a scar with my first initial on my left hand from 1990. Definitely not new and it hurt bad so never did it again. Sharing the eraser could be an issue I agree but otherwise not the end of the world. Kids will always do silly things when they see others doing it.

    danaman22 said:
    March 31, 2014 at 4:24 AM

    Yea I sure did this back in junior high school, 1999. It was pretty stupid, I don’t know about dangerous.

    Wendy B. said:
    March 31, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Quick! Ban erasers! Make them go do their self-injurious behaviors in the bathroom alone with something sharp like the real cutters do! We do not want to see or know about this. Too scary!

    Late said:
    March 31, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    This is far from new, I’m 41 and back when I was in middle school it was called the Sissy Test!

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