Devious lick trend promotes criminal behavior in schools


Schools have been reportedly beset by bathroom vandalism amid urging from TikTok user’s “devious lick” challenges. (Dreamstime/TNS)

Social media is a powerful tool that can motivate students to go to great measures to do something they had not considered before. The positive side is that people will donate to charitable causes, and try to make the world a better place. However, social media can also be dangerous, and the TikTok “devious licks” trend fits that description. It encourages students to vandalize or steal school property.

   Those who participate in “devious licks” may only steal smaller things, such as soap and hand sanitizer dispensers. However, other “licks’’ ranged from stealing stall doors, sinks, toilets, and stuffing urinals with toilet paper. Neither degree of destruction is acceptable.

   Students who participated in the trend might get so distracted by the potential of receiving views that they disregard the consequences of damaging their school. However, there are consequences to those actions. Those actions can affect life decisions later, hindering job prospects. 

    A solution to this could be to direct more effort towards getting this content off TikTok. TikTok has already redirected hashtags and banned devious licks content. However, many students have been able to exploit loopholes and still post that content. These loopholes need to be closed, special attention must be paid to the slightly altered spelling of “devious licks” that students use to evade detection.

   Do not follow trends that suggest criminal activity. Students have been arrested, faced jail time, and paid fines as punishment for participating in “devious licks”. Students in Charlotte County, Florida, could face a $1,000 fine and one year in prison for destruction and theft of school property. 

   Do not get swept away by the hypnotizing videos. Think for yourself, and do not succumb to this version of peer pressure. Instead of choosing a selfish path of instant gratification and long-term consequences, be proud of your school, and do not disrespect or defile it.