A new viral challenge is testing school administrators from New Jersey to California. No, it’s not refusing to mask-up. It’s a TikTok trend, called the “Devious Licks,” challenging students to steal or destroy school property, all for views on the social media platform.
School officials in Kentucky reported last week that “a couple of students have been arrested and charged, and one has been suspended” for posting such videos after they commit the crime, according to NBC’s Cincinnati affiliate WLWT5.
“We didn’t know that this was happening until we started seeing these soap dispensers being stolen and broken destroyed things being shoved into the toilets,” a Boone County principal told WLWT5.
In a memo that was sent to Monrovia Unified School District (MUSD) parents and families Wednesday, Sept. 15, Superintendent Dr. Ryan Smith warned guardians about the challenge.
“One challenge encourages students to vandalize school bathrooms or other areas. The second challenge encourages students to steal school property or personal items from teachers and staff and take pictures of themselves with it at home,” the superintendent said in in the memo.
Smith issued a stern warning that students could face severe disciplinary action if caught participating in this social media trend. “Students caught engaging in this inappropriate behavior will face disciplinary consequences that may include suspension from school,” said Smith. “Students could also be cited by law enforcement and required to pay restitution.”
The superintendent urged parents and guardians to warn pupils of the serious consequences.
Thus far, no local students have been reported using this latest TikTok challenge to gain popularity on the social media platform.
The trend reportedly originated in September when TikTok user jugg4elias posted a video “showing off a box of disposable masks the user claimed to have stolen from a school,” according to NJ.com. The video, which gained over 345,800 views before it was removed, was captioned “A month into school…absolutely devious lick.”
A “lick,” according to Urban Dictionary, is “A successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday for the protagonist.”