Valley schools work with families to end harmful Tiktok trend

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - A new TikTok trend known as “Devious Licks” has some students vandalizing school bathrooms, as videos of kids stealing ceiling tiles and emptying soap dispensers are gaining views every day.

Local school officials say the trend is happening in the Shenandoah Valley. Staunton City School officials say they’ve reached out to parents to try to resolve the problem.

“If your parents get this call that you are one of the children who is intentionally vandalizing bathrooms and making custodians’ jobs harder and making life for your fellow students harder and life for your administrators and your teachers harder, then they’re not going to be happy with you when you get home,” said Staunton City Schools Superintendent Garett Smith.

He says he wanted to make families aware of what was going on, hoping they could help put an end to the trend.

“A lot of times with student behaviors, there are gray areas, but with this one, I really don’t see one,” Smith said.

He says vandalism would always be a disciplinary problem, but it’s particularly harmful this year, especially when students are emptying soap dispensers.

“You can’t close bathrooms during a pandemic. You can’t not have soap in the bathroom, so there’s lots of extra monitoring and communicating to kids that this is a huge problem,” Smith said.

On top of pouring out soap, he says students have also damaged ceiling tiles.

“I have faith in our community and in our families and ultimately in our kids that we’ll come to our senses and stop engaging in this type of behavior,” Smith said.

School officials across the country have reported “bathroom challenge” incidents, and TikTok has blocked #deviouslicks.

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