What to Know About the 'Devious Lick' TikTok Challenge — and Why Schools are Warning Parents
Another viral trend has been restricted by TikTok — but this time, schools are also cracking down on the issue.
The latest challenge to gain popularity on the social media platform is the "Devious Lick" trend, which involves students posting videos that show them stealing, damaging or showing off items taken from school. As for how the trend got its name, according to Urban Dictionary, a "lick" is a "successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday for the protagonist."
The trend, which is also referred to as "Diabolical Licks" or "Dastardly Licks", originated in early September after TikTok user jugg4elias posted a video, showing a box of disposable masks that the user claimed to have stolen from a school, according to NJ.com.
"A month into school... absolutely devious lick," jugg4elias captioned the video, per the outlet. "Should've brought a mask from home. Now look at you walkin round campus maskless you dirty dog."
The video ended up garnering over 345,800 views before it was removed by TikTok on Monday, NJ.com reported. The user's profile is also no longer active on the platform.
Since then, similar videos with the tag "Devious Licks" have flooded the platform, causing school officials to speak out on the matter.
Sunlake High School in Land O'Lakes, Florida, posted about the challenge on Facebook, telling the community that "while kids may think this is a harmless prank, it is indeed criminal activity which will lead to serious school consequences and arrests."
"Soap dispensers, exit signs, safety signage for fire rescue, and classroom telephones are just a few of the items that were removed and stolen this week," the school wrote. "We love our Seahawks and we do not want to see any of them arrested so PLEASE talk to your kids. If they are participating in this activity you will be hearing from an administrator and our School Resource Officer. Let's work together to put a stop to this now."
At Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, students were allegedly stealing soap dispensers from bathrooms, which prompted the principal to send a letter to parents warning that students could face "a school suspension, full restitution and a police report," if caught, according to AzFamily.com.
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Speaking to AZFamily.com, parent Barrett Marson, whose son attends Hamilton High, said of the trend: "If there is something idiotic to be spread on the internet, it will spread everywhere... Generations of kids have been stupid but this is incredibly stupid."
On Thursday, a spokesperson for TikTok confirmed to PEOPLE that they have since taken action regarding the viral challenge.
"We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities," the spokesperson says. "We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior."
Those who attempt to search "Devious Licks" on TikTok will now find an error message that reads, "No results found. This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok's top priority."