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Viral TikTok trend leads to vandalism in schools

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:19 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - School districts across the country have reported incidents of vandalism and theft as part of an ongoing TikTok trend, including in Kentuckiana.

The “devious licks” trend encourages students to steal things like soap dispensers, toilet seats, and mirrors.

A spokesman for JCPS said the district is aware of “a number of instances, mainly in middle schools.” He also said students are being disciplined and schools are taking further action to prevent it.

Christian Academy of Louisville sent a letter to parents about it. In it, the security director recommended men’s restrooms in middle schools and high schools be closed and locked when they’re not supervised. They said it’s a serious problem that won’t go away soon unless they take action.

A Bullitt County Public Schools representative was aware of the issue before it became widespread, allowing them to act well in advance, although there have been a few isolated cases.

Amy Yabao has a son in middle school and said she was so surprised by the trend that she couldn’t help but laugh.

“I couldn’t help but smile when I heard of how crazy it’s getting,” Yabao said. “It’s like, ‘Wow, they’re pretty smart.”

She said she hopes students will stop the trend and use TikTok to create positive videos.

“I think social media is actually a really great thing for kids, the communication and what it opens up for them in that sense,” Yabao said.

Melissa Riddle said the “devious licks” trend proves how powerful social media can be.

“There’s just so much negativity out there and it’s very widespread and kids are on (social media) all the time,”

Riddle said. “It’s very influential. I think parents have to monitor and I think there have to be a lot of conversations.”

TikTok has since banned the viral “devious licks” challenge and all videos with the content have been removed.

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