Devious Licks trend hits close to home

Vandalism on campus tied to the TikTok trend has primarily been found in the bathrooms.

TikToks+Devious+Licks+challenge+started+impacting+students+on+campus.+At+one+point+during+the+week+it+was+especially+hard+to+find+hand+soap+in+the+boys+bathrooms.

Maya Ortiz

TikTok’s Devious Licks challenge started impacting students on campus. At one point during the week it was especially hard to find hand soap in the boys’ bathrooms.

Gabby Norman, Managing Editor

From eating Tide pods to the skull crusher challenge, TikTok has given people across the world bad ideas. Social media has a great influence on today’s youth, making illegal or dangerous challenges seem “cool” or “trendy.”
The newest challenge, dubbed “Devious Licks,” has reached Humble ISD students, and worked its way into classrooms, halls and bathrooms of schools across the district.
“A couple days ago it was brought to my attention, that’s probably when I first found out about it,” principal Wesley Solomon said. “It hasn’t been the first time that students have done things of this nature in bathrooms and those kinds of things. We did a little research like we always do.

We knew that there was a challenge of doing some things more specifically either in the bathroom or with computers or Chromebooks. The only thing we’ve really dealt with is destruction in the bathrooms, primarily soap dispensers along with a few other things like leaving the bathroom messy.”

— principal Wes Solomon

“The good thing about being part of a greater school district that has five high schools total, we can all collaborate and talk to each other. Typically if you see something happen at one school, it’s going to happen at another, as in this case.”
Devious Licks blew up as a challenge on TikTok. Devious means “showing a skillful use of underhanded tactics to achieve goals” and licks meaning “a type of theft.” The objective is for students to video themselves stealing or damaging items taken from the school.
“We knew that there was a challenge of doing some things more specifically either in the bathroom or with computers or Chromebooks,” Solomon said. “The only thing we’ve really dealt with is destruction in the bathrooms, primarily soap dispensers along with a few other things like leaving the bathroom messy.”
Custodians and maintenance staff have worked hard to quickly fix the damages caused by the trend. The nation is still in a pandemic, and health safety is paramount to the school. Not having soap or sanitizer poses a huge problem.
Solomon encourages kids to speak out if they see something.
“These are your bathrooms, so I would first discourage any type of bad behavior – not because of the consequences, but from the standpoint that they’re your bathrooms,” Solomon said. “It’s your hand soap, sanitizers, those types of things. We do have a good culture here, we have a positive culture, so it’s just no place for destruction of property. If you see it, say something. We always want to promote our kids working with us, not against us.”
The school and the district will not take the thefts and vandalization lightly. The code of conduct will be used to administer consequences to anyone partaking in the challenge, and both the staff and administration are going to great lengths during the day to monitor bathrooms and halls in order to be proactive against these actions.
“Once again I really believe it’s just a handful of students that are making poor choices,” Solomon said. “I really believe, I’ve said this before, that we sweat the small stuff here at KPark. We don’t turn a blind eye to it or turn our head the other way, anything that happens we use security cameras in the hallways. We’re going to do the work to protect our bathrooms so our kids feel safe to go in there.”
Solomon hopes that with the removal of the challenge from TikTok, the fad will pass. TikTok has removed videos and made the hashtag unsearchable. Until then, he advises students that the school is theirs, and vandalizations or thefts will only be detrimental to them.
“We have great kids here at KPark so the good thing is that a lot of time we get our information from our kids that want to do the right thing,” Solomon said. “They understand the negative connotation of putting it out there and destroying the school you go to. We’re very fortunate to have kids that understand the responsibility and take pride in our school.”