A viral TikTok shows a teacher repeatedly kissing an adult student—who is allegedly nonverbal and autistic—on the cheek and holding and hugging him. The video sparked debate among commenters, many of whom argued that the man could not consent to the teacher’s actions.
In the TikTok posted by Christina (@christinas_customs) on Aug. 22, a woman kisses a man on the cheek and hugs him many times. At one point, the man’s pants are unzipped. Christina identified the pair as a teacher and her adult student who is nonverbal and autistic.
It’s unclear in the video if the man is nonverbal, meaning doesn’t communicate at all, or nonspeaking, meaning he might communicate through writing or a communication device.
The TikToker calls the teacher’s interactions grooming and sexual assault.
Christina wrote in the video’s caption that her niece attends the same school for adults with special needs as the man in the video and that the video was posted by the teacher on TikTok.
“My niece went on her own and reported this to the principal and now the teacher in the video is giving her dirty looks,” Christina wrote in the video’s caption. “This video was very unsettling for me to watch.”
On Wednesday, Christina’s video had over 5 million views.
@christinas_customs How do you guys feel about this video? According to my niece, This is a nonverbal autistic student at her school. That’s his female teacher. This is an adult special-needs school for special needs adults and my niece goes there. My niece really had a problem with this video that she found on TikTok of a teacher from her school. How would you feel if a male teacher was laying down with a female student and treating her the same way? My niece went on her own and reported this to the principal and now the teacher in the video is giving her dirty looks. This video was very unsettling for me to watch! #fyp #fypシ #sa #saawareness #specialneeds #autism #autismawareness #assultawarness #planoisd #unsettling #nonverbal ♬ original sound – Christina
Many commenters on Christina’s video agreed with her reaction to the way the teacher was touching the student.
“100% thought it was just a couple playing around until I read the captions,” @jamiem4l commented. “I hope his parents were informed.”
“I hate to make a judgment strictly off a TikTok, but I can’t help the gut feeling,” @vettylou wrote. “Definitely doesn’t feel safe.”
Others weren’t as sure that the teacher was completely overriding the man’s inability to consent—but agreed that she shouldn’t be touching him in the way the video shows.
“It’s unacceptable as his teacher, but he LOVES her and HER affection,” @jassmineeeebaybeee wrote. “You can see that CLEARLY!”
“He does deserve love and connection and it does look like he’s consenting,” @aydebake commented. “BUTTT she’s his teacher and this shouldn’t be happening by her.”
Some commenters identified themselves as having people who are nonverbal and autistic in their lives and offered their own takes on the video.
“As a mother of a nonverbal son I have to say this is inappropriate,” @the..original..bae commented. “You can show him ‘he is loved’ in other ways. Kissing him over and over is not ok.”
“This bothers me in so many different ways,” @lovely_arlene wrote. “As a parent of a nonverbal child who’s 18. I’m scared now.”
“As a mom with an intellectually disabled daughter who’s also nonverbal, this just confirms my worries,” @erikaparedes3 commented.
Commenters urged Christina to at least report the video to the school. If the school is public, its teachers are governed by laws that private school teachers may not be—which don’t include specific state laws that pertain to public and/or private schools.
The Daily Dot reached out to Christina via Instagram direct message.
Today’s top stories
|‘Fill her up’: Bartender gives woman a glass of water when the man she’s with orders tequila shot|
|‘I don’t think my store has even sold one’: Whataburger employees take picture with first customer who bought a burger box|
|‘It was a template used by anyone in the company’: Travel agent’s ‘condescending’ out-of-office email reply sparks debate|
|Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.|