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.