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As students head back to school, districts across the U.S. are reporting theft and vandalism by kids who are following a viral TikTok trend called “devious licks.”
Urban dictionary defines a “lick” as “a successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday for the protagonist.”
Aubrey Chancellor, executive director of communications at North East Independent School District in San Antonio Texas, confirmed to Fox News that its schools have seen broken light fixtures as well as soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and mirrors ripped off of walls.
“It’s important for students to understand what they see on social media is not always a good idea in reality,” Chancellor wrote in an email to Fox News. “The students involved face disciplinary action and are expected to pay restitution as well. If possible, charges may be filed as well.”
Students are vandalizing their schools as a result of a TikTok challenge
(North East Independent School District)
Dr. Toni Zetzsche, principal of River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Florida, took to Facebook Monday addressing the recent school destruction related to the TikTok trend.
“As a principal, I cannot fathom why students would want to destroy their own school (or any place really),” Zetzsche wrote. “This is something that has been happening at many others schools and I am disheartened that RRHS has been targeted several times today.”
She went on, “We will investigate every single video, we will monitor and use social media footage to catch the students responsible and we will ask for law enforcement intervention in every situation while also providing school discipline at the maximum level allowed.”
In a TikTok search, video results using the hashtag #deviouslicks were blocked. In addition, no results were found for a search of the phrase itself.
“This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines,” the empty search results page read. “Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority. For more information, we invite you to review our Community Guidelines.”
TikTok has not yet responded to Fox News’ request for comment, though under its community guidelines, the video sharing platform states it “removes content that promotes or enables criminal activities.” This includes “content that provides instructions on how to conduct criminal activities,” TikTok wrote.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are 235 million views of #deviouslicks-type videos labeled under the alternative, #devious.
In one video, a student showed a soap dispenser torn off the wall of the school restroom. In another, an outdoor fountain on school property appeared to be filled with soap bubbles.
One student claimed he took the hands-free paper towel dispenser and secured it to the wall of his home.
Other footage showed the door of the bathroom stall hanging by its hinge after an apparent attempt to remove it.
One student revealed in their TikTok video that they have been suspended for three days and was assigned five hours of community service after participating in the trend.
Some schools are reportedly shutting down facilities amid the thefts and vandalism. The same student who filmed the fountain filled with bubbles claimed, “I can’t even use the restrooms at my school till December because of this stupid trend.”
On its website, TikTok states that it doesn’t “enable activities that violate laws or regulations.”
“We prohibit the trade, sale, promotion, and use of certain regulated goods, as well as the depiction, promotion, or facilitation of criminal activities, including human exploitation,” TikTok wrote. “Content may be removed if it relates to activities or goods that are regulated or illegal in the majority of the region or world, even if the activities or goods in question are legal in the jurisdiction of posting.”