Viral TikTok trend promotes school vandalism

TikTok’s ‘devious lick’ trend causes damage to McLean property

“If you are caught, you will be punished,” a PA announcement warned today, September 13, in response to a viral TikTok trend which has induced students to steal and vandalize school property. Known as committing a ‘devious lick,’—a phrase most adults would be unfamiliar with—this viral video trend prompts students to record themselves opening their backpack to reveal stolen school property.

As each creator tries to one-up the next, schools across America have experienced a wave of destructive vandalism with McLean getting its own fair share of damage. Already, 12 soap dispensers from various hallways at McLean have been stolen. Other items, such as paper towel dispensers and sink parts, have been removed and misplaced across bathrooms.

“The first word that comes to mind is ‘annoyed’. [I’m annoyed] that people think that this is something funny or a trend for Tiktok,” McLean Principal Ellen Reilly said. “All this is is vandalism. And it’s [during] COVID-19, when people are supposed to be washing their hands. It’s not real bright.”

Students across the country take part in the defacement of school property for a viral TikTok trend. At McLean, soap dispensers are one of the many pieces of property which have been subject to such vandalism. (Josh Bass)

As the trend picks up popularity and students at McLean further attempt to deface school property, the administration has one message: you will get caught and you will be held accountable.

“[We will have security] go into the restrooms more often. [For example], if a security officer goes into the bathroom at 12:00 and returns at 12:15 and something is not there or has been messed up, we look at security camera footage and will question those students,” Reilly said. “The students will have to pay everything back, face out-of-school suspension, and we will deal with their parents.”

In addition to tracking down the students and holding them responsible, the situation has forced added responsibilities on McLean’s staff, namely custodians needing to repair and replace health essentials.

“It [heavily] affects us because we don’t have enough soap dispensers,” McLean custodian Jose Martinez said. “We need to put work orders so that people will come to fix them because we don’t have enough to put on the walls.”

The head of custodians, Francisco Quintanilla, placed a repair order worth a total cost of around $400. While it is still unclear when the vandalism will halt, Quintanilla hopes that items will be fixed soon and things will return to a normal routine by next week. For now, students are encouraged to remain vigilant and respect school property during these times.

“Do the right thing,” Reilly said. “It’s very simple. It’s been a rough couple of weeks; we’ve just been through [the 20th anniversary of] 9/11 and are in COVID. It makes you think about all the stuff people are going through these days, and we’re doing stuff like this. It’s kind of ridiculous.”

The following video contains language which may be offensive to some audiences.

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