A recent TikTok trend titled “Devious Licks Challenge” is causing mayhem in schools across the country.
This trend shows students engaged in criminal activity by defacing school property or completing a “lick” (theft) of school property. Many schools have been overrun with these pranks where students steal bathroom soap dispensers, masks, emergency signage, classroom telephones, electronic equipment and more. While the students may believe these activities to be minor, removing exit signs, emergency signage and classroom telephones could delay assistance from first responders in the case of an emergency. While stealing soap may seem benign, in the age of a pandemic, hand washing practices are of paramount importance. Not to mention the additional expense of replacing these items.
Some schools are fighting back. They are announcing to students that they will not tolerate this behavior. Students are being asked to pay restitution, face suspension or expulsion and in some cases, criminal charges. Racking up a criminal history for following a TikTok challenge is not worth the long-term ramifications.
Alachua County parents received an email notification letting them know that this is happening locally in their schools. According to the email, “Students who damage school property may face criminal charges. They risk suspension, expulsion, placement in an alternative school, removal from magnet programs, sports teams, clubs or other activities and programs. They and their families may also have to pay for damages.”
TikTok has removed the posts and the search for this challenge as they do not promote or condone criminal activity or anything that impacts the health and safety of others. This challenge goes against their community guidelines.
Ask your kids if they’ve heard of this trend or know of anyone doing it at their school. While TikTok can be entertaining for learning new dances or recipes, some have taken it too far. Check in with your kids and educate them about falling victim to some of the less desirable challenges.