York University is currently investigating a slew of pranks that were caught on camera and posted to the internet this week alone, in some cases, going viral. (Courtesy: Erajjawad/ TikTok – @citysviral/ TikTok)
How far is too far when it comes to pulling a prank?
According to one university in the GTA, disrupting a class full of students eager to learn and a teacher ready and willing to teach is where it draws the line.
York University is currently investigating after a slew of pranks were caught on camera and posted online this week, with some videos going viral.
The most recent incident is of an apparent student trying to get his beauty sleep in the middle of a lecture.
The problem? He decided the best place to rest his head was on the floor and basically at the foot of his teacher.
“I’m just trying to sleep real quick,” he told the instructor, who asked him not to disrupt the classroom just seconds before he laid down.
The video has garnered over 400,000 views as of publication.
The comment section was flooded with disapproval towards the prankster as well as other students who laughed in the moment.
“The problem also is students who laugh, I heard a bunch of people laughing. When people don’t get the reaction you want eventually they will stop,” one user said.
A day prior to this incident, another student interrupted a lecture to announce that after a few months of being in school he’s dropping out to pursue a career as a rapper.
Much like the last incident, the instructor shared some words with the prankster.
“The course syllabus says there will be no aggressive behaviour tolerated in this class. I don’t appreciate you disrupting my class. And if you don’t come down here and shut up I’ll call security, do you understand?,” the teacher said.
York University told Now Toronto that it is aware of instances of individuals disrupting classes, “apparently in an attempt to get social media attention.”
The school goes on to say that this behaviour is unacceptable because it “disturbs important classroom learning, harasses students and faculty members, and can cause deep distress if people are already feeling anxious or unsafe.”
“York has offered support to affected community members and increased security patrols where large classroom lectures are taking place. We are taking this very seriously and are currently investigating these incidents and identifying the perpetrators,” York University Advisor and Deputy Spokesperson Yanni Dagonas said in a statement on Thursday.
Other students have also taken to social media to call out these individuals.
“York is not a real place. This generation is doomed” TikTok user Eesham (@baebyy.e) said in a video that has accumulated over 260,000 views as of publication.
“This is my second lecture that somebody comes to and yells at the top of their lungs for some laughs,” she continued.
“College students and university students like myself are paying thousands of dollars to get an education to get a career going and these pranksters and YouTubers want to disrupt our learning? That’s ridiculous,” TikTok user Erika (333.erikaa) shared.
“At this point, it’s like York University is like a giant highschool with these wannabes being class clowns,” she continued.
These trends have made way for a larger conversation about the rise of social media and the pursuit of going viral overnight for many young people across the country and abroad.
According to Manitoba Blue Cross, a non-for-profit health benefits provider, while social media addiction isn’t an official diagnosis yet, there is “overwhelming evidence that overuse can have serious physical and mental health consequences.”
Additionally, in some cases, abusing social media for clout can lead to charges and arrests.
For example, a U.K-based TikTok prankster known as Mizzy, 18, made headlines this year for his odd pranks that saw him entering people’s homes uninvited and pretending to steal an elderly woman’s dog.
He has since been reportedly banned from using social media platforms.