Recently, a TikTok trend called “Devious Licks” made its debut on the social media platform that has roughly 1 billion monthly active users. And get this, a third of these users are age 14 or younger according to The New York Times. The “Devious Licks” trend is encouraging students primarily in middle schools and high schools to destroy and vandalize their campuses for views. Students are going into bathrooms and stealing soap dispensers, paper towel machines and even entire urinals after-hours. Facilities, storage areas and classrooms are not off-limits either. As a result of this trend, schools are shutting down areas on campus for repairs and paying the price in damage control. Teachers, staff, administrators and parents are overwhelmed as the power of social media strikes again in a harmful way.
How can we combat something like this from happening in the future and take charge in the now?
First and foremost, we encourage teachers and staff to address these issues at a school level, acknowledging the outcomes of a trend like this. We also encourage parents to have healthy discussions with their children surrounding social media and the impacts it has on behavior.
At a district level, Ensure your schools have an anonymous reporting system in place that addresses the concerns you see happening right on your campuses. Empower your students to be a part of the solution without fear of retaliation through anonymously reporting if and when reckless or suspicious events take place.
WeTip is a nationwide anonymous reporting resource available to all districts. Within the last week, WeTip has taken close to 5 school vandalism tips related to this trend alone. Download this Vandalism Flyer and distribute it around your campuses to help deter unwanted behavior and put a stop to this trend. Use the QR code or visit www.wetip.com to easily submit tips free of charge.