The popular teen, named as Sydney Gray, was dared to do the challenge by a friend on social media. The viral “game” has players tie a rope around their necks and try to escape before they pass out.
Sydney, a 15-year-old cheerleader at Sylvan Hills High School in Arkansas, reportedly told a boy that she “didn’t think it was true that you can die from being hung” shortly before she did the challenge.
According to students who knew of the incident, the girl wrapped a rope around her neck, tied the other end to the top of her bunk bed, and jumped off the bed while she was alone in her bedroom.
The cheerleader, who was only five feet tall, did not leave enough rope for her feet to touch the floor. The rope was so tight around the teen’s neck that she was unable to scream for help as she choked to death.
Some people have claimed that Sydney Gray’s “white privilege” led to her death. The girl, who was white, apparently did not understand that she could die from hanging because she never faced the threat of lynching that many Black Americans faced.
“She didn’t know any better,” a local resident said about the cheerleader. “Some of these kids are privileged and don’t know what lynching or hanging can lead to.”
School administrators told parents to talk to their children about the dangerous trend, which is growing in popularity and has led to several recent deaths.
The game is the latest deadly crazy to sweep social media, which includes the infamous “Tide Pod Challenge” in which people died from consuming toxic dishwashing pods.