AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — School districts in the CSRA are warning students against participating in the “devious licks” challenge, a social media trend in which students film themselves stealing or damaging school property. The challenge is spreading on multiple platforms, including TikTok and Snapchat.
Aiken County Superintendent King Laurence issued a warning Monday as school administrators investigated theft and damage at “many” of the district’s schools, he said.
“What the social media challenge does not tell you is that these actions could result in infractions that are designated as larceny or severe vandalism, each of which could result in the placement of students into our alternative education program, restitution pages and charges with law enforcement,” Laurence explains.
A video obtained by NewsChannel 6 shows students at Midland Valley High School take a soap dispenser from a bathroom.
Students in the Columbia County School District are taking part in the challenge as well. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was called to Grovetown High School on September 14 after surveillance footage showed an unidentified student take a restroom sign. The student told deputies they took it as part of a “TikTok challenge.” It is unclear if or how the student was punished. According to an incident report, a juvenile complaint form was completed, and the student was turned over to their parents.
A district spokersperson provided the folloiwng statemnet to NewsChannel 6:
“We have experienced an increased number of thefts of these types of items mainly in middle and high schools, to include soap and other such dispensers from school bathrooms. We strongly encourage parents to speak with their children about the seriousness of the consequences that follow any attempt or effort to vandalize or steal from a school. Law enforcement is being contacted for investigation of each report of stolen property and all associated parties are being held accountable according to the law and the district code of conduct. This behavior will not be tolerated and we ask students who see any suspicious activity to alert an adult in the building or a school administrator. The school district also has an anonymous tip hotline where suspicious behavior can be reported to by calling 706-541-3600.”Columbia County School District
The Richmond County School District tells NewsChannel 6 it has not received any “reports of issues.”
TikTok discourages its users from participating in the challenge, tweeting it will remove content and redirect hashtags and search results.
Parents are encouraged to speak with their children as the repercussions of the challenge could extend beyond social media.
“It is never our desire to remove a student from their homeschool environment,” Laurence explains. “However, we will apply these consequences when and if they’re warranted.”