A devious trend

New TikTok challenge encourages students to steal from their schools


Photo courtesy of Miguel Paredes Reyes

Many items in the Millard West high school bathrooms are going missing. In the image above, a soap dispenser has been ripped off the wall leaving students no soap to clean their hands with.

Alexis Bahensky, Opinions Editor

TikTok trends have taken over the daily lives of teens everywhere. From dancing to pranks, the platform has become one of the most influential pieces in teens’ lives. While most may be harmless, a new one has caught the attention of users that does more harm than good: the Devious Lick.

Devious Licks have now gotten out of hand since their first appearance on the app. It may have started out with a student stealing a box of disposable masks from their school with the caption “A month into school… devious lick,” but it has now turned into a long chain of crimes across the nation. Students are now stealing items ranging from soap dispensers all the way to a school bus.

Videos of bathrooms being trashed are showing up on everyones’ For You pages leading students to follow the fad. While TikTok denounced the trend, stating that they didn’t want to encourage such behaviors, many continue the trend by posting videos to other media apps, such as Snapchat. Many teens have even started to do the trend without filming and posting videos of their deeds, showing the influence this holds on most high schoolers and even middle schoolers. 

These are outright crimes being committed and many show no remorse for it. While those who are caught are punished, usually only through detentions or short suspensions which aren’t enough, continue to get away with their actions. This is the utmost form of student misrepresentation I have ever seen. Those committing these acts are risking the reputation of students across the nation. It’s unacceptable. 

Some students don’t realize that they are taking a part in a larger trend that is costing schools across the country thousands of dollars worth of repairs. However, many do know what their actions have created, and yet they don’t seem to care that their school districts are now suffering because of this. Damages include broken stall doors, sinks, toilets and even stolen mirrors. I have no idea what leads students to remotely consider that what they’re doing is funny or the way they wish to be represented in their communities. I am surprised it hasn’t stopped after an alarmingly high number of arrests have been made against students who participate in the trend. You would think students would have more common sense than this, yet many continue to surprise our community.

Omaha’s Rebecca Kleeman, a representative of the Millard Public Schools district, told the Omaha World-Herald that while the school may have the resources to replace many of the soap dispensers and other sanitary items, it is putting unnecessary stress on staff members. I agree with this. With COVID-19 almost coming to a close and teachers attempting to figure out how to go back to normal, this is the last thing that is needed to be on their agendas. Millard West teachers are now being stationed outside of bathrooms to ensure no damage comes upon them. Most of these educators are being forced to take time out of their planning periods which not only affects them, but students will receive less help because of the lowered office hours and grades won’t be updated as quickly. Do we, as students, really want to let the staff of our school suffer because we don’t know how to act our age and be mature? 

Custodians are majorly affected by this new event. Students are creating more work to be done for them. They are the ones who are responsible for cleaning up the bathrooms after a student decides it would be funny to clog a toilet using their sweatshirt. Like teachers, they have had a lot of stress from COVID-19 and this trend isn’t making their job any easier. They are not paid nearly enough to deal with teenage immaturity. We need to learn to give more respect to these staff members because they have a life outside of cleaning up after students who clearly do not know how to properly behave.

While students continue to trash bathrooms, hallways and even classrooms, there is a new trend to attempt to reverse the damages made by Devious Licks: Angelic Yields. Students are now attempting to redeem themselves by returning stolen items as well as leaving useful or useless, but still helpful, items in the bathrooms of their schools. This shows some hope for the reputation of students across the nation, and hopefully Angelic Yields will continue to prosper while the Devious Licks fade away.