‘Devious Licks’ TikTok challenge prompting kids to vandalize, steal from Alabama schools

Alabama News

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG/WIAT) — It’s something Fairhope High School’s principal described as “pitiful.”

“It’s started out as a nuisance and now has become a safety issue and it’s just getting a little ridiculous,” Jon Cardwell said.

The challenge involves stealing or damaging school property and posting a TikTok video about it. The hashtag #deviouslicks went viral on the app. Cardwell said Baldwin County Schools started noticing thefts about a week ago.

“This turned into vandalism. The restroom in our brand new building, tearing soap dispensers off the wall. The good kids are being punished for what a couple of kids are doing because we’re locking bathrooms and limiting the amount of time you can go there,” he said. “It’s borderline pitiful that this is the attention that you’re craving.”

In Robertsdale, a student was disciplined for stealing a fire extinguisher as part of the challenge, according to the Baldwin County Board of Education.

School officials want parents to be aware of this and are urging them to have conversations with students about the long-term consequences this has.

Kristi Bush is a local social media expert — and the mom of teenagers.

“They came home this week and said ‘Oh my gosh, Mom — we saw someone steal a toilet out of a bathroom on TikTok and it has 20,000 views already. So they’re going to go viral,'” she said.

The hashtag is no longer searchable on TikTok. Instead, a message pops up saying “The phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority.”

“If you’re on TikTok and you post that, it lives forever,” Bush said as a reminder for teens who are tempted to participate in the reckless trend.

When it comes to keeping the challenge of campus, “Mr. Tyler has given us his blessing to do what we need to do to make this stop,” Cardwell said.

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