- Lexi Schwartz and Penelope Kraus
“Devious Lick Challenge”: How Devious is it?
When walking into the school bathrooms what catches your attention? The missing sink knobs, the writing on the stalls, or the soap that's been spilled onto the floor. What has caused these disturbances and why now?
The answer is TikTok. Individuals get sucked into the trends of the app and whatever else comes up on their “For You Page”. These trends can include catchy dances, funny audios, and unfortunately, the “Devious Lick Challenge”, which was popular in the month of September. Students from different schools posted videos with the hashtag, “deviouslickchallenge”, alongside videos of them vandalizing school property.
Acts of vandalism include stealing soap dispensers out of the bathrooms, stealing knobs from the sink or doors, and filling toilets with rolls of toilet paper. However, not only has this trend been popular around TikTok and other schools, but disappointingly, our very own.
“No person, either alone or with others, shall, while on school property or at a school function… Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson”.
As it states in the schools’ Student Code of Conduct under Public Conduct on Social Property, “No person, either alone or with others, shall, while on school property or at a school function… Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson”.
Principal Kyle Hosier sent an email to each student and their families explaining the concern of this spreading trend. The boys’ bathrooms consisted of soap on the walls and floor, broken dispensers, and a sink with a knob removed. It was clear in the email that this is unlike Edgemont's behavior, and there needed to be an end to this destruction.
“...students engaging in these challenges on our campus will be in violation of our Code of Conduct and will face consequences.”
Mr. Hosier mentioned that “...students engaging in these challenges on our campus will be in violation of our Code of Conduct and will face consequences.” The school does not necessarily expect each student to read the entirety of the guidelines provided on the school website, but it is assumed that students around the ages of 12-18 should behave in a respectful manner. The acts of vandalism surprised and disappointed the administration, along with students who were unaware that this trend was apparent in their own school.
In a conversation via email with Mr. Hosier, he emphasized there has been vandalism like this in the past, but never to this extent. Due to the popularity and convenience of TikTok, students become more motivated to go off the rails and go against what they would normally do. It is shockingly easy to scroll through countless videos of a singular event in a short amount of time. This leads to a great exposure of bad behavior because of the quick access to different videos. The app attracts kids of all ages as well which can tap into the immaturity of younger students and influence them to participate in destructive trends like this one. On TikTok and all forms of social media, the content people post can influence the ways in which people act and behave.
The vandalism was majorly disrespectful to the janitorial staff as well as the student body at large. The COVID-19 pandemic has given the custodians more to clean due to the fact that sanitation is key during this time. Students also, unfortunately, decided to write on the walls of the bathrooms and pour soap on the floors, which piled onto the heap of work that the janitorial staff had to take on.
As most trends tend to do, the “#deviouslickchallenge” has simmered down and is no longer a threat to the spirit of Edgemont schools. Mr. Hosier stated that “we aren't seeing as much happening to the bathrooms now, which is reassuring. This is our school and it is incumbent on all of us to keep our campus in good shape.”
Also, in the email sent to all students, it was stressed that there would be more TikTok trends to come in the further months that students would need to be thoughtful about participating in. With this being said, the effort put in to stop the vandalism in the school should be a wake-up call for students to respect others and their property. The question remains, however, is the devious lick challenge the worst of internet-driven trends? Or, is it only the beginning?