TikTok Trend Promotes School Vandalism


Sriya Pallapothu, Hot Topics Columnist

Stolen toilets. Broken mirrors. Smashed floor tiles. Missing soap dispensers. These are just a few of the items that have been vandalized in schools by students across the country. It seems pointless and a waste of time to ruin school property, so why would students do this? The answer would be the emergence of  a new school vandalism trend that has gone viral on TikTok. 

The trend, known as ‘Devious Licks’, is a challenge for students to destroy their school’s property and to share the aftermath on TikTok. The trend first started on September 1st, when a TikTok user posted a video of a stolen box of school masks. This video prompted others to start stealing school supplies as well, and soon this escalated out of control. Students in middle school, high school, and even college have participated in these rebellious activities. The main target of these misdeeds has been school bathrooms. Students have done outrageous things such as stealing toilets and mirrors, writing on the walls, smashing floor tiles, and destroying other bathroom items. Unfortunately, this has turned into a serious and concerning problem, as institutions across the country have reported events like this happening in their own communities. Since most of the destruction is done in bathrooms, some schools have been forced to temporarily close their bathrooms for a day or two. Although this may seem like a drastic response to the situation, it is the only way for schools to fix the damage.

In school districts that were subject to a ‘Devious Licks’ challenge many of the culprits were punished. In extreme cases, some students were even arrested by the police for vandalizing their schools. In addition, TikTok has removed many of the Devious Licks videos from its platform in an effort to shut down the trend. Although this did not prevent the videos from appearing on other social media platforms, it did send the message that TikTok looks down upon such behavior and wants its platform to be a safe space where people can have fun in a responsible and respectful way.