Three years after American youngsters made international headlines for eating Tide detergent pods, a potentially lethal stunt, a new social media challenge is making its way across the country, and school officials are trying to get out in front of it.
“I want to make you aware of some theft and vandalism happening in our middle and high school,” Webster County Superintendent Rhonda Callaway said in a One Call to middle school and high school parents and guardians over the weekend. “This is taking place because of a TikTok called ‘Devious Licks’.”
A “devious lick” is a slang term for using illegal or frowned upon methods for personal gain. In the case of this TikTok video, that means breaking laws and destroying property to gain social media followers or social media “cred.”
Callaway reports that since the “Devious Licks” challenge began, Webster County Schools have seen soap dispensers torn down, soap removed from soap dispensers, toilet paper dispensers torn off, damage to the doors in the bathroom stalls, damage done to toilets, bathroom sinks, trash cans dumped out on bathroom floor, sinks pulled away from the wall and standing water in bathroom floors.
“At our middle school, we have soap dispensers ripped off walls or soap pulled out of them,” Callaway said. “We’ve had toilet paper dispensers opened, and toilet paper thrown in the toilet. Kool aid poured over toilet and walls which will have to be repainted due to the red Kool aid stain.”
She also said that some teachers have had personal items stolen.
Part of the “Devious Licks” challenge is that student have to record and post videos of their actions to prove that they’ve done them. While that might drum up some social media followers for those students, the potential downside is huge.
“Videos are being posted when students are in the process of doing these things,” Callaway said. “When you review the above incidents, please know that when the students are caught, charges will be filed for theft and vandalism of school property. This could also result in a Class 4 Violation of the Student Code of Conduct, which could be an expulsion.”
Callaway added that the next TikTok challenge is reportidly for children to “flip off” people they pass while riding the bus.
“Please talk to your children, teens, and young adults about the issues above to ensure they understand the reality of what is taking place. Social Media can have positive impacts, but it can also cause our young people to be drawn into negative situations.”
Contact Matt Hughes at email@example.com or 270-667-2069