RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – Students in Chesterfield are participating in a nationwide TikTok challenge called ‘devious lick,’ which challenges students to destroy school property and steal random objects.
Similar damage is being seen in Richmond and Henrico schools, which mirrors the same destruction in Chesterfield related to the devious lick trend.
In a letter to James River High School parents on Tuesday, principal Amanda Voelker said officials are having to reroute students who need to use the boys’ bathroom to single-use restrooms with monitors throughout the building because every boy’s bathroom has been vandalized twice.
Voelker said in every boys’ bathroom, students took light fixtures from the ceiling, flooded toilets, destroyed or stole every soap and towel dispenser, smashed mirrors and sprayed colored liquid all over the toilets repeatedly last week. Students did it again Monday.
“I am heartbroken that we are having to deal with such concerns this early in the school year,” Voelker said in the letter.
She went on to say the behavior presented a “serious concern given the importance of hygiene in our current COVID environment.”
School officials used their camera system to identify students who participated in causing the damage. Voelker said consequences for those students include suspension from school and restitution for damages.
The building operations supervisor is making repairs and custodians are cleaning up the mess at James River High, according to Voelker.
In Henrico schools, the district’s director of facilities Susan Moore said there have been several incidents of vandalism, although it’s difficult to tie specific incidents to a social media trend.
She said students have been trying to pry soap dispensers off the walls in school bathrooms. Moore said the district has purchased additional dispensers for replacements and their custodial staff will continue checking the bathrooms periodically.
Any students who are known to be responsible for any kind of vandalism will be disciplined according to the rules in HCPS’ Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct states that punishment for vandalism of school property could range from detention to referral to law enforcement where required depending on the severity of the behavior.
Richmond Public Schools officials are aware of limited damage to two school bathrooms. RPS spokesperson Matthew Stanley told 8News the facilities team is working to finish repairs quickly. He said they don’t have any confirmation that the damage is connected to the TikTok trend.
RPS was not able to answer follow-up questions Wednesday regarding how many kids were involved in causing the damage, which schools the vandalism happened in or what consequences the kids involved will face.
TikTok has since banned content surrounding the viral challenge, asking students to be kind to their schools and teachers. Anyone searching for #deviouslick will now get a ‘no results found’ message.
There’s also a new, counter-trend on TikTok called “angelic yield”. It challenges students to replace anything stolen and upgrade toilet paper in school bathrooms with quality 3-ply Charmin.