‘Devious Lick’ trend: Devious or Dumb?


Aliza D. A. and Apryl J.

A trend that went too far.

The “devious licks” trend got its start earlier this September. It consists of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and other students vandalizing their schools. The trend involves students posting videos showing off items taken from school, including soap dispensers, hand sanitizer, and much more. There’s a reason why students are doing this trend: popularity, attention, and other reasons that you may never know why.

Here at Red Oak Middle School, some students are letting outsiders influence their decisions to carry on this trend. This is leaving students to be frustrated. One reason is bathrooms are shut down and you have to walk all around the school to use the restroom depending on the time and day it is. If you try to enter a restroom it will most likely be locked, or you will be waiting for someone to unlock it. This is leaving some students frustrated.

“It’s really stupid because we can’t even use the bathrooms no more,” ROMS, eighth-grader Grace McFall, said. “It’s just overall something that makes it worse for everyone else.”

According to the South China Morning Post, a spokesperson said TikTok was removing “devious licks” content and redirecting hashtags and search results to its guidelines to discourage the behavior. TikTok does not allow content that “promotes or enables criminal activities.”

This trend has gone out of control in ways people don’t realize. Some students brought tools to school to unscrew the toilets, to take pipes out, and steal teachers’ and staff members’ belongings. At Red Oak Middle School, someone took off the toilet from the girl’s restroom and just left it there. This is resulting in students losing restroom privileges.

 Mr. Jones’ custodian at ROMS says students shouldn’t do it. “It vandalizes property,” Jones explained. “We have to do more than we do on a daily, and it takes time to fix these kinds of things.”

 The trend started with [taking] small items like hand sanitizer, tissue boxes, and what you wouldn’t call a “devious lick.” Soon it turned into much more than a tissue box. Soap dispensers were stolen, and it of course costs money to replace and repair.

 ROMS students started the copycat devious lick outbreak during the week of September 17. Many of the people who did the “devious lick” challenge were caught or turned in by other students after principal Rob Waller made a special announcement to the entire school.

 “I don’t think it’s good for our school,” Principal Waller said. “I don’t think it’s good for our community, and it frustrates me that we have kids from other schools influencing our kids to not take care of our school.” 

 Even though this challenge might have ended with bad consequences. Some Tik Tok users are already coming up with new challenges for each month of the rest of the 2021 year. For example, in October there is a challenge “slap a teacher” or “smack a staff member.”

 Again Principal Waller warned students not to engage in the TikTok challenges and thanked the ”98 percent” of students who are following the rules. Mr. Waller said people participating in this other new “lick trend” will be held accountable, including lawsuits, DAEP (alternative school), and other punishments appropriate for this new trend.