Sandburg Middle School in Glendora was vandalized by students this week as part of a viral TikTok trend called “devious licks” — slang for theft.
Kids across the U.S. are posting TikTok videos of themselves vandalizing school bathrooms and stealing soap dispensers and even turf from football fields, bedeviling school administrators seeking to contain the viral internet trend.
Sandburg is among two schools in the Glendora Unified School District that have faced destruction due to the social media challenge, with soap dispensers ripped off and bathrooms covered in some sort of red liquid.
The “devious licks” challenge has been sweeping social media over the past two weeks and is plaguing principals and school district administrators, who already must navigate a bitter debate over requiring masks to keep COVID-19 in check. Some schools have had to more closely monitor or even shut down bathrooms, where much of the damage is occurring.
Glendora Unified Assistant Superintendent Virginia Kelsen is urging parents to talk to their children, and said that although the district has identified those responsible for the vandalism this week, they will not be disclosing their names. Appropriate action will be taken, she assured.
A spokesperson said TikTok was removing “devious licks” content and redirecting hashtags and search results to its guidelines to discourage the behavior and that it doesn’t allow content that “promotes or enables criminal activities.”
However, the “devious licks” hashtag already had more than 175 million views.