By Angela Bustos Sanchez and Fernando Mendez
The “devious lick” trend first originated in September on the popular video-sharing app Tik Tok. A user by the name of jugg4elias posted the first “devious lick” video in which they recorded a box of disposable masks, claimed to be stolen from school. A caption at the bottom of the video read “a month into school absolutely devious lick”
As the first video gained popularity, similar “devious lick” videos began to flood the internet and the trend went viral. Across the country, students began stealing other items including desks, lab equipment, telephones and even school buses.
Back in September, Woodside High School was forced to close multiple bathrooms after they were vandalized by students participating in the trend. All but one restroom was closed, leaving 2,000 Woodside students to share one bathroom across the entire campus.
The act of “hitting a devious lick” is basically when students steal, pretend to steal or vandalize items from their school (mostly from the bathrooms) then post it online. The new trend has resulted in the arrest of numerous students across the U.S.
The video platform Tik Tok was the center of controversy for allowing videos encouraging vandalism and theft to be created and shared on the app. After the trend garnered national attention, Tik Tok took action and removed all “devious lick” videos from the platform. The term “devious lick” is now unsearchable on Tik Tok and the hashtag brings up no results.
“It seems like most schools that are actually participating in it are schools that are private or well endowed.” Prep English teacher Sam Williams stated, “In most cases, it is kids who don’t treat things respectfully because they don’t understand that it is a finite resource.”
When the trend made its way to the Summit Prep campus, bathrooms were shut down multiple times and everything from Expo markers to chairs went missing. Bathrooms were the main target at Prep, multiple toilets were flooded while soap dispensers and other bathroom essentials went missing.
After administration at Prep was made aware of the trend, an announcement was made discouraging any acts of theft or vandalism. When asked about the new trend, Dean of Culture and Instruction David Tellez refused to comment.
Prep Chemistry teacher Jaclyn Merrick didn’t notice anything significant go missing from her classroom, but she explained that the trend has made her be “extra cautious” with supplies.
“Theoretically we could get reimbursed for the supplies but generally I don’t take the time to do that and everything we use in class I buy myself.”
While staff took the spike in thefts seriously, some Prep students had more light-hearted thoughts on the trend. One Prep freshman described the new trend as “nice”
Another Prep freshman, who chose to remain anonymous, explained that they planned to hit a “devious lick” exclaiming, “I’m finna grab me some”
When it comes to preventing students from participating in the trend, Prep English teacher Jordan Doyle explained the difficulties of enforcing school policy.
“When people don’t get caught there’s really nothing to be done,” Ms. Doyle said “The consequence is left on the teachers as either you have to pay to replace your stuff or you’re just left feeling like you can’t trust your kids”
Although the “devious lick” trend is still ongoing at Prep, there is hope. Some Tik Tok users against the trend started a counter-trend known as “angelic yields” where students donate money, supplies and other gifts to schools in need.
The counter-movement aims to reverse the damage done by the “devious lick” trend and has been positively received by affected communities. “Angelic yields” and other acts of charity could be a step in the right direction to repair the damaged relationships between students and staff at Prep.
FEATURED IMAGE (at the top of this post): TikTok logo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)