CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A viral new social media trend is causing damage to local school districts. The viral TikTok trend hashtag ‘Devious Licks’ shows students stealing, damaging, and vandalizing school property, most of it happening in the bathrooms.
“Every boys’ room in the middle school was significantly vandalized all in the same day,” says Shannon Shine, Superintendent of Mohonasen Schools. “The soap dispensers were ripped off the walls, thrown in the toilets. The paper towel dispensers were ripped off the walls, thrown in the toilets.”
Shenendehowa Central Schools also noticed damage to several locations in the high school. “We’ve also seen damage to emergency lights, they’re there for a reason—we have emergency lights for emergencies. Some of it has subsided in the past couple of days, but we have seen that,” says Shenendehowa High School Principal Ron Agostinoni.
This trend could possibly cause a trip to the principal’s office and cost districts hundreds of dollars in repairs. “We had to have an emergency plumber in over the weekend—I still don’t know what the bill is, but it suspects it wasn’t inexpensive,” says Superintendent Shine.
Now some schools have their staff monitoring each bathroom and they’re keeping a close eye on the hallway cameras. “We’re just getting back to school—still contending with COVID in a very real way, and this is the last thing we wanted to deal with,” says Superintendent Shine.
“We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities. We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”-TikTok Spokesperson
School officials hope this trend is just a quick phase. “It’s the influence of social media — it doesn’t mean it’s bad kids doing bad things. It’s good kids doing bad things. it happens when some kids make bad choices and that’s part of being a teenager, but the other part is that you can’t be destructive of vandalized buildings it’s just not going to be accepted on any day in any location,” says Principal Agostinoni.