Fact Check

Did a Grade School Teacher Fart During a Zoom Class?

Or as inquiring minds wanted to know, did she take time out of class to pass gas?

Published Dec. 27, 2022

 (Screenshot, Emma Tichenor's Facebook page)
Image courtesy of Screenshot, Emma Tichenor's Facebook page
A grade school teacher in the U.S. audibly passed gas while conducting a class during a Zoom video call with students.

The video was created in December 2020, while U.S. schools were forced to close and conduct classes remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the "fart" was a prank — a sound effect used by a third-grade teacher to help lighten peoples' spirits.

The year 2020 was extraordinarily tough for students and teachers. The COVID-19 pandemic forced school closures, which resulted in kids of various ages getting stuck on Zoom for remote lessons all day, challenging their mental health and educational advancement.

So when a teacher in Topeka, Kansas, played a fart sound as a prank during a Zoom class with her third-graders, the result prompted a much-needed round of giggles and belly laughs. 

Teacher Emma Tichenor even uploaded the video of the gag to her Facebook page on Dec. 8, 2020, and the video went viral, even popping up on social media, two years later in December 2022. A Reddit post from late December 2022, for example, showed a screenshot captioned, "Teacher farts on Zoom."

Again, to be clear, Tichenor didn't actually fart. In her Facebook post, she said she played a "toot sound" with the express purpose of lightening the mood. And it worked. One child was seen laughing uncontrollably.

Passing gas is its own category of internet rumor. Examples of items from our collection of flatulence-themed tropes include a rumor that a man died in a meth lab explosion after lighting his farts on fire. A surprisingly "true" example is the claim that manatees control their buoyancy using farts.


Koop, Chacur. "Watch Kansas teacher fart prank her students on Zoom – and do your best not to laugh." Kansas City Star, 11 Dec. 2020, https://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/national/article247782540.html

Dapcevich, Madison. "Do Manatees Control Their Buoyancy by Farting?" Snopes, 9 Feb. 2021, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/manatee-farts/.

Evon, Dan. "Did a Man Die in a Meth Lab Explosion After Lighting His Farts on Fire?" Snopes, 16 Feb. 2016, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/meth-lab-explosion-gas/.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.