Note to readers: This article contains references to sexual violence. If that’s something you don’t want to read about right now, check out some of our other articles.
While we often question kids’ taste in social media personalities (I still scratch my head when my nephews watch other kids play with toys on YouTube), there’s one influencer—as well as countless fan accounts—that teachers should be on high alert for if they aren’t already: Andrew Tate.
Who is Andrew Tate?
- Andrew Tate is a former professional kickboxer and current social media influencer.
- Tate rose to popularity through a combination of amassing members on his platform Hustler’s University via an affiliate marketing program (aka an MLM) and encouraging those members to inundate social media with videos of his content.
- Tate was eventually banned from most major social media platforms for his videos promoting misogyny, justifying sexual violence, and other violations of the platforms’ policies.
- In 2020 Tate moved to Romania, where he said “corruption is far more accessible” and that it would be easier to avoid sexual violence charges (“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free.”)
While many grade-school children and most adults have the presence of mind to recognize Tate as harmful, many impressionable young boys idolize Tate. According to Mashable, his audience falls in the 16-25 age range, with many of his Hustler’s University members in high schools across the U.S. and world.
Here’s how teachers on Reddit report Andrew Tate has shown up in their classrooms this year.
A teacher reported that a student refused to read an article written by a woman because “women should only be housewives.”
One teacher had to debunk Tate’s claim with his own son that women shouldn’t be driving.
Boys are listing him as their role model on back-to-school questionnaires.
Students are attempting to cite him in their research papers as a legitimate source of information.
How to approach student who cites Andrew Tate as a legitimate source of information from Teachers
A 7th grade teacher reported the boys in his class call women and girls “holes” and any boy who defends or is kind to girls a “simp.”
When a teacher tried to shut down talk of Andrew Tate, a student told her, “Miss, you’re just scared because he’s an alpha male.”
Another teacher said that, even as recent as a month ago, any criticism of Tate sends her male students into a rage.
Criticizing Andrew Tate sends my male students into blind rage from Teachers
Though Andrew Tate has been banned permanently on social media platforms, it’s clear he’s not going anywhere. Two weeks ago, a Reddit teacher reported an escalation in Tate references. Fan accounts continue to circulate his videos, and Hustler’s University continues to operate. Even if Tate had skulked off into oblivion, there will certainly be others like him to take his place. And teachers need to be ready—not to ignore it, but to respond to it.
What can teachers do about Andrew Tate in the classroom?
Talk to students about content. It doesn’t matter that it’s not in your curriculum—if boys in your class are calling girls “holes,” stop what you’re teaching and talk about sexual harassment. If you don’t feel comfortable leading that discussion, call in a counselor or another teacher who’s ready to lead that talk.
Be crystal-clear about boundaries and consent. Whether you teach kindergartners or seniors in high school, set the expectation that consent matters. “He said he’s not playing tag, so do not touch his shoulder.” “Do you see her body language? That means she doesn’t want to be hugged.”
Teach—and reteach—digital citizenship, evaluating sources and claims and the exceptions for freedom of speech. There’s a reason the majority of Andrew Tate fanatics are so young: They don’t question his claims. Teaching these skills will help your students filter through claims from any online personalities, parody accounts, satire, etc.