Independent School Districts Fight Against Criminal Social Media Trends

Group of teenagers gang sitting indoors in abandoned building, using smartphones.
Teenagers looking at a cell phone. | Image by Halfpoint

A recent high school trend sweeping the nation’s youth is called the “devious licks” challenge. The challenge was started by a user on Tik Tok, the viral app for short videos. Devious licks is when students steal or vandalize school property. Popular items to steal include bathroom supplies like wet floor signs, hand sanitizers, soap dispensers, and even toilets.

To fight this trend, some schools have introduced designated bathroom times when there is supervised time to go to the bathroom. A select few schools are even shutting down the entire bathroom during school hours. In Denton, a school has told the students to bring soap to school after students took every soap dispenser from the bathrooms.

Although Tik Tok itself has banned this challenge, it does not stop students from doing them. Schools and their staff continue to work to prevent harmful behavior and criminal activity by students.

Dallas ISD has been cracking down on this trend recently. A statement from Tiffany Huitt, chief of school leadership, reads, “If a student is involved in criminal activity, the district may prosecute them, which by law, could lead to a hefty fine and/or jail time.” Huitt’s statement continues, “Charges of criminal mischief are serious offenses, where an individual knowingly damages or tampers with another person’s property causing financial loss amounting to $2,500 or greater.”

Holding the students legally accountable is a start, but it will take time before this trend is completely diminished. In response to the ban, Tik Tok users have started a new, physically harmful trend. The challenge is to film yourself striking your teacher across the face and then run away. Teachers are told to be on the lookout for any students planning this kind of activity and be aware of their surroundings.

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