TikTok challenge affects local schools; promotes stealing, vandalism

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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PLEASANT VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Iowa (KWQC) - A new, strange national TikTok trend has made its way into local schools.

It is part of a challenge called “Devious Licks,” that involves students filming themselves vandalizing school property and anonymously posting it online.

“Licks” is a slang internet term for stealing and vandalism.

The challenge is simple--vandalize school property, usually the bathrooms, by stealing soap dispensers, or to put foreign objects into the toilet. It affects the school’s custodian most of all.

“We [had] two soap dispensers, one each in the boys’ and girls’ restrooms damaged,” said Colona Superintendent Dr. Carl Johnson.

According to the website Know Your Meme, the TikTok trend started at the beginning of September when a user filmed a video stealing disposable masks from a school, generating the hashtag.

The hashtag then received over 175 million views before the platform took it down, but tech-savvy teens all over the country have made similar hashtags on TikTok for their own copy cat videos.

“We’ve actually caught a few students who’ve done this,” said Darren Erickson, principal of Pleasant Valley High School, “it’s not only school consequences but potentially legal consequences, depending on the extent.”

Pleasant Valley High School has been hit especially hard in our area by the bizarre challenge, with several different restrooms having been vandalized.

One bathroom had a slice of pizza stuffed into the urinal when TV6 Investigates filmed.

Principal Erickson says it is only a few kids partaking in the gross TikTok trend, however.

“Trying to figure out what to do can be difficult because I don’t want to put something in place for the 1600 plus kids that aren’t doing this and continue to take pride in their school,” said Principal Erickson.

School staff say that the best way to stop the “Devious Licks” challenge is by parents taking charge and teaching their kids the consequences of posting a harmful video to TikTok.

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