TikTok's 'devious licks' challenge source of destruction in Summit County schools, businesses

TikTok’s newest, and what many consider to be most destructive, challenge has made its mark on both schools and businesses within Summit County.

© Provided Tik Tok app

Restrooms are primary targets for disciples of the “devious licks” trend as mirrors, sinks, urinals, ceiling tiles and toilet stall doors and dividers are among prizes being stolen and displayed in videos on the social video site.

“Licks” refer to thefts or robbery; you might be familiar with the phrase from the 2019 song “Momma I Hit A Lick,” by 2 Chainz with Kendrick Lamar. However, most of the TikTok videos involving these recent licks include a sped-up version of rapper Lil B’s song “Ski Ski Basedgod.”

Restrooms at Cuyahoga Falls middle schools damaged

Bolich and Roberts middle schools in Cuyahoga Falls City School District have damage to their restrooms that is tied to this trend, Superintendent Todd Nichols said. He is not aware that anything has been stolen from school buildings.

While the cost of the damage is still being calculated, the district is considering making the students responsible pay for repairs.   

“I have to take each case as it comes,” Nichols said. “However, when there is damage to public property, restitution is part of the deal.”

Nichols admits he was only made aware of the trend quite recently. This was the same for Kryste Lillquist, the parent of a 17-year-old who attends Cuyahoga Falls High School.

Lillquist first heard of it from members of the Cuyahoga Falls High School Tiger Marching Band while driving them around during Tag Day, the band’s annual door-to-door fundraiser. On Sunday, Lillquist had a conversation about the “devious licks” challenge with her daughter and limited her use of TikTok for the time being.

Stow-Munroe Falls warns parents about TikTok challenge

Stow-Munroe Falls City School District sent a message to parents requesting they speak to their children about how to behave appropriately in school.

“We have experienced significant vandalism to our school this year,” the message said. “Area businesses around the high school have experienced damage and thefts as well. Make no mistake, these are criminal acts.”

Stow police are currently investigating the in-school and out-of-school incidents, and those responsible will have charges pressed against them, the message said.

“We’ve made our teachers and our students aware, and it’s getting better this week,” said Amanda Murray, assistant principal of Stow-Munroe Falls High School.

As of Friday, Akron Public Schools has not sent out a message to parents alerting them to the trend, but it has been discussed with principals, according to district spokesman Mark Williamson. All vandalism incidents are being handled in accordance with the district’s policy on the care of school property.  

How the ‘devious licks’ trend got started

The “devious licks” trend got its start earlier this month, according to the Know Your Meme site, when a TikTok user posted a video of the user stealing disposable masks with the caption “a month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask from home.”

Since then, TikTokers in high schools and colleges began posting similar videos of their heists. As of Monday, the hashtag #deviouslick had gotten more than 175 million views, according to Mashable.

TikTok removes #deviouslick hashtag and search results

That hashtag is no longer found in searches on TikTok, which told USA TODAY in a statement it was “removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”

“We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities,” TikTok’s statement said.

However, several other popular searches remained on the site including “devious trend,” “deviouslics,” and “the biggest licks of the school year.”

USA Today contributed to this report. Contact Beacon Journal reporter Tawney Beans at tbeans@gannett.com and on Twitter @TawneyBeans.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: TikTok’s ‘devious licks’ challenge source of destruction in Summit County schools, businesses

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