Devious Licks mostly spares NHS


A new TikTok trend is affecting schools across the States. Students are reportedly doing “Devious Lick” challenges, influenced by the social media platform.

These ‘Licks’ consist of stealing soap dispensers, bathroom stall doors, urinals and many more unnamed mundane objects around the schools. The trend, most commonly taken place in bathrooms, is overall happening for publicity and acceptance of the students’ peers. 

The students post a video of themselves stealing or vandalizing school property with the caption “Devious Lick”, in fulfillment of this challenge. Although this trend is reported to be ‘harmless jokes’, it is seriously affecting schools where students are participating. 

Students in some schools are required to leave their bags outside the bathroom with a faculty member, leaving phones in classes, and having the bathrooms closed for large portions of the day. Now school has added the concern that students with social anxiety will be impacted by the closed bathrooms, unwilling to speak up when they need to.

 Yet, leaving the bathrooms open can be a vulnerability. Bathrooms are a private place where theft is easy, and the schools can’t do much else about that. Professionals and faculty say that teachers allowing students to use the bathroom when wanted or needed is just a basic form of respect. 

Middle school students are following this trend to look for attention and acceptance and they often make impulsive decisions to try to fit in because their prefrontal cortex is not yet fully developed. Some students even say they succumbed under peer pressure rather than wanting to do it themselves.

“I don’t think it has affected our school as much as other places, but I know it’s people stealing things from public institutions, and then posting them. There’s been a lot of vandalism which is ridiculous,” said English teacher, Mr. John Carino at Naugatuck High School whose department letters were taken as a result of the challenge.

Mr. Carino shares how students used to do a similar trend of throwing drinks in their teachers’ faces which relates to the October portion of this trend; rumored to be a challenge of slapping their teachers. Carino says that the school and faculty don’t deserve to have drinks thrown in their face or slapped by their students when all they are doing is trying to educate their students. 

He also said, “I’d say the majority of people wouldn’t really want to be disrespectful like that, there’s a lot of people that might find the fact that other people do it funny, and that’s one thing and to actually do it is another thing and I think that that’s a minority and that’s fueled by people who do horrible things to get attention on social media and then they get attention simply because they do something stupid.”

As the month ends many schools across the nation have a lot of vandalism to deal with and equipment to replace because of students taking this challenge too far.