Tik Tok “devious licks” challenge damaging schools


Over the past couple of weeks, middle schools and high schools have noticed a rampant increase in vandalism. Soap dispensers, signs, desks, and even bathroom sinks have gone missing from schools. Most can agree the viral “devious licks” Tik Tok challenge is to blame for this. Students on Tik Tok have been recording themselves breaking and stealing items in school with a sped-up version of the song “Ski Ski BasedGod” by rapper Lil B playing in the background. What seemed to be a joke at first, has spiraled into serious vandalism all over the country.  

 Even here at Central, teachers have reported missing items from their classrooms. Ms. Denton, a social studies teacher, recently had one of her class materials stolen, “My pencil sharpener was one of the first things taken.” This occurred at the same time the Tik Tok trend went viral. One reason students may be participating in this challenge is for attention or acceptance. “There is a desire to get attention and likes on social media.” Many other teachers, Denton included, just want the best for their students. “I keep telling my students not to watch the videos because it just encourages stealing.” 

 Some are wondering if Tik Tok should step in to put an end to this challenge. “I would hope from a community perspective that Tik Tok would do something, but they are a private corporation.”  

 Another social studies teacher, Ms. McVay, agrees with Denton and thinks students are participating in this challenge in hopes of gaining “street cred” or “clout”.  

 “It is a way to gain attention from peers.”  

 On the topic of preventing this increase in vandalism, McVay explains, “Building relationships with students and having meaningful consequences is a way we can prevent it.”  

 McVay also thinks, “Filtering inappropriate and unsafe content is something Tik Tok needs to do.” After some time, Tik Tok finally removed all videos with Lil B’s song in hopes of deleting the trend’s most popular videos in the process.   

 Along with teachers having to deal with classroom items being taken, bathrooms are also being vandalized by students.   

 Principal Kirksey believes students are doing this to “be recognized for likes.”  

 “The influence of social media is likely to blame. I also have to realize that young people have not been in a regular school setting since March of 2020, so the entertainment that they were getting was not typical or normal. We haven’t had this many people in the building since August of 2019. People were on social media, watching TV, and Tik Tok, you come back to this setting and it’s not that.”  

 Presently, it seems the virality of the trend has died down, and will hopefully never return.  

Principal Kirksey concluded, “There was no vandalism at Central this week. Don’t do a challenge based on a Tik Tok, especially if it’s harmful to students and property.”