El Paso school districts address viral “vandalism” Tik Tok trend


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)— Local school districts are reaching out to parents asking them to talk to their children about a trend gone viral on the social media site Tik Tok, which encourages students to steal or vandalize school property.

The “Devious Lick” challenge on Tik Tok dares students to vandalize their schools — in most cases, bathrooms — and steal items like soap dispensers, hand sanitizer and toilet paper rolls to then post on social media.

Lilly Martinez, a parent with children at Socorro ISD schools, said her children have told her their school has seen students acting on this challenge.

“I think it’s getting out of control,” Martinez said. “I think the most items taken are hand sanitizers and soap dispensers, my oldest says they took a toilet.”

SISD said individual schools of all grade levels are sending out letters and phone calls to parents to notify them about the trend and urge them to speak to their children about it. The message reads:

Hi, this is (NAME), principal of (SCHOOL). I am calling to inform you of a new TikTok trend that has been causing damage to schools across the nation. The TikTok challenge is encouraging students to destroy and steal school property and post on social media platforms. Consequences for damaging school property can be from a misdemeanor to a felony. Consequences for stealing or destroying school property also are severe and can include expulsion and police involvement. Please help us in talking with your students regarding the serious consequences if they were to engage in this activity on campus.

SISD parent letter

“It’s kind of scary to think it starts as small as hand sanitizer but it’s like what if someone sends you to do something far worse like hurt yourself or others,” Martinez said.

Some parents with students at Ysleta ISD schools said their children have also told them about vandalism at their campuses. A spokesperson for YISD sent KTSM the following statement:

We’re currently monitoring the situation. All incidents are being addressed by campus administration and addressed pursuant to the Student Code of Conduct. The safety and security of our students and staff remain our number one priority at Ysleta ISD.

YISD Spokesperson

At Eastlake High School, boys varsity soccer coach Gibby Widner said he started an initiative with students to discuss the situation.

“We decided to come together to make a positive message campaign, just trying to change and do reverse psychology of what we have here and the great things we have and bring those messages back on campus,” Widner said.

Students said they saw privileges taken away in response to the challenge.

“We did lose some bathroom privileges like the way we walked around the hall and we should be able to go to the bathroom without worrying is there soap, are we going to get in trouble,” an Eastlake student said.

Another said even their pep rally was canceled.

It appears Tik Tok has removed posts related to the “Devious Lick” challenge, however, schools continue notifying parents to discuss the consequences.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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