Vandalistic Tik Tok movement targets schools

Youth have begun engaging in mischievous theft and debasement in hopes of gaining attention on social media.

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CREDIT: SHAAN BHATIA | THE MIRROR

Devilish! An anonymous individual removed a soap dispenser from one of the school’s bathrooms and positioned it on a tree stump in plain view of students.

TikTok user @jugg4elias uploaded a video on Sept. 1 to the prominent social media platform, showing off a box of disposable masks that the user claimed to have stolen. The video gained 345,800 views before it was deleted by TikTok, but the removal occurred too late.

 

Similar videos to the one shared by @jugg4elias have swarmed TikTok in recent weeks as teenagers participate to see who can commit the most “Devious Licks”, the unofficial name for these offenses. On account of this, students have been attempting to steal or damage the largest and most expensive items from schools without being caught, and proceed to post their actions on social media. The primary focuses have been bathroom supplies such as soap dispensers, mirrors, sinks and even toilets. 

 

Dean Brian Acosta shared his thoughts on the trend after observing how it has negatively impacted school property in the past few weeks.

 

“When you run around vandalizing and causing damage to the school property, I don’t think it’s quite appropriate,” Mr. Acosta said. “It takes time and money to replace everything.”

 

Staff aren’t the only ones affected and upset by the movement. A large majority of the demolishing and theft that takes place occurs in bathrooms which are used primarily by students. 

 

Initially unaware of the trend, Junior Mikayla Lorenzo noticed the destruction transpiring and was disappointed to learn the reasoning behind it.

 

“That sounds pretty terrible,” Lorenzo said. “I honestly don’t know how that sounds appealing or fun.” 

 

There are mixed opinions regarding who to blame for these “Devious Licks”. Some believe TikTok isn’t doing enough to prevent the spread of related videos that continue to encourage students to partake in the fad, including English teacher Mr. Aaron Stell.

 

“I think this is another example of social media making people have this desperate need for attention and stimulation,” Mr. Stell said. “And I think TikTok is not doing enough to stop it.” 

 

However, there are also individuals who don’t blame the company for this predicament.

 

“In my opinion, I feel like the company itself shouldn’t take responsibility but the people who first made the trend,” Lorenzo said. “As I see it, the TikTok company didn’t really influence the trend; rather, the TikTokers who were involved in the trend should be held accountable.”