It's called the "devious lick" challenge, which involves stealing school property and destroying or vandalizing school bathrooms, all for likes and follows.
A "lick" is another word for stealing. Or as explained by Urban Dictionary, "a successful type of theft, which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday for the protagonist."
It has gotten so bad, TikTok removed the hashtag "devious lick" from the app. Now when you try to search for the phrase, a message appears explaining that the content has been removed because it violates the app's guidelines. The message is accompanied with a link to TikTok's community guidelines.
"We expect our community to create responsibly - online and IRL. We're removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools & teachers," TikTok said on Twitter.
We expect our community to create responsibly - online and IRL. We're removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools & teachers. pic.twitter.com/mIFtsYwFRb— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 15, 2021
But Texas schools have not been immune to the destructive trend.
O'Donnell Middle School in Alief ISD posted on Facebook Thursday evening that over the past two days, some students vandalized the 7th grade boys' restrooms and main hallway boys' restrooms.
Soap dispensers were also destroyed or removed and door hardware was taken.
ODMS said it talked to their 7th grade boys, but has also asked for parents to talk with their children about the consequences.
On Friday, Alief ISD announced actions its putting into place, including the closures of restrooms during certain times. Officials stated:
"In an effort to prevent more occurrences of the 'Devious Lick' social media craze, O'Donnell Middle School administration has taken a proactive approach. Since discovering damage Wednesday school administration sent notification to parents and posted on social media that vandalism will not be tolerated and that students should choose to be leaders with pride rather than followers engaging in destructive behavior. In addition, restrooms will now be closed during transition times and students must sign in and out to use the restroom during class time."
In Midland Independent School District, sinks, soap and hand sanitizer weren't the only things that have gone missing.
"Items that have gone missing include fire extinguishers, fire flashers, which are a visual indication for the hearing impaired, or emergency exit signs," said Elana Ladd with Midland ISD.
The district said it plans to take serious actions against students who are found guilty, including potential criminal charges and disciplinary consequences like suspension and removal from their campus to an alternative campus.
The Waco ISD Police Department posted a warning to its Facebook page, saying that if students are caught, they will be held accountable.
Similar incidents have been reported across the Austin area.
KXAN reports that one district in AISD has been dealing with the viral challenge for two weeks and had to send a letter home to parents. Some schools have been forced to temporarily close bathrooms to clean them and make repairs. AISD estimated school damage at $2,500.
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