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TikTok trend 'Devious Licks' challenges kids to vandalize and steal from school bathrooms

What an expert recommends to stop it
Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 20, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Local law enforcement and a high school principal opened up about a viral TikTok trend that could be dangerous for our communities.

It's a challenge taken way too far.

Principal Tammy Holcomb of Blair Community Schools has already taken disciplinary action against three students after noticing water faucet handles and the property of teachers went missing.

"We made a school-wide announcement Friday morning of last week that we were aware this was a TikTok challenge. It was not appropriate for school or any place because you are damaging property. We had students basically share screenshots of conversations of, 'This is what I have and this is what I took," Holcomb said.

Pat Martin with the Glenwood Police Department said these kinds of actions have dire consequences.

"It could be anywhere from a simple misdemeanor up to a felony," Martin said.

Holcomb said the students got ticketed by law enforcement — on top of consequences imposed at school.

"The students that received consequences were younger, a part of fitting into their high school I imagine, and just that peer pressure to do something that would be seen by social media," Holcomb said.

Bridget Barnes, the Director of Parent Training for Boys Town, said the conversation between the school, legal system, students and parents are starting points.

"I would start talking to kids about the why, 'Why is this important to do?'" Barnes said. "And what does this affect and what is the outcome of this Devious Licks and how does it affect other people?"

Barnes said calling kids' behavior out immediately is the best first step to take.

"If we see something, we say something about kids' behavior online and not just floss over it or think nothing's gonna happen here," she said. "We want to make sure kids are accountable and responsible and know online behavior is a privilege to have an account," Barnes said.

Holcomb hopes kids can choose character over peer pressure or fitting a certain norm to fit in.

"You can be told to do anything on social media but that doesn't mean you have to do it and that whole, 'Does that fit in with who you are?'" Holcomb said.

TikTok is already starting to take videos down. For some parenting resources, click here.

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