Devious lick: The new TikTok challenge creating a 'nuisance' in schools

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 19:34:54-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A new TikTok trend called "devious lick" is sparking a new challenge.

It all started with a TikTok where a user stole a box of masks from his school, posted it on the social media platform saying, 'look at this devious lick' and like everything else on the internet, it escalated from there.

Students everywhere started joining in, stealing, and vandalizing basically anything they could get their hands on, including in Kentucky.

"We just started noticing a couple of weeks ago that the soap dispensers in the bathroom were being removed, stolen, taken out, destroyed," said Principal Stephanie Hagerty of Camp Ernst Middle School in Boone County.

Hagerty has seen her fair share of students acting strange, but this was different.

"We didn't know what was happening because it was happening frequently enough to where it became a nuisance," said Hagerty. "We started asking kids because if you just start talking to the kids, they'll tell you what you need to know. And they told us about something on TikTok called Devious Licks."

Hagerty says students stole soap and tried to remove a water fountain. Students "hit licks" in their schools Fayette County, Jessamine County, and Bourbon County.

"That's when you really just kind of tap into the students and those relationships you have with them, and just say, 'Hey, what's going on with you? Where is this coming from?' And a lot of times, it's social media or friends motivated," said Camp Ernst teacher Autumn Kiefner.

TikTok has banned the 'devious licks' challenge but there are still hundreds of challenges and trends right at kids' fingertips. So, the question educators and parents have now is how to combat it.

Kiefner came up with an idea and brought it to Hagerty.

"I was like what if we create our own challenge? What if we create a challenge for positivity and give them point systems and rewards for that?" said Kiefner.

She got fellow teacher Kristen Franks involved and they all got to work on the acts of kindness challenge.

"Immediately, they were very receptive to this, which is so heartwarming," said Franks. "We already have like 15 examples of kindness. So, it was so adorable. We've had a parent was so happy because her daughter was washing the dishes."

They all know the trends will continue to come and go, but they hope the lesson they taught their students because of this, stays.

"Hopefully, ultimately, in the long run when the next trend comes along, if it is something that's negative, that maybe the students themselves will start their own TikTok counter-trend, which will you know, combat some of that destructive behavior," said Kiefner.

Students at Camp Ernst can pick from a list of activities and earn points for rewards. Jessamine Public Schools addressed their study body about these trends earlier this week. Fayette County Public Schools plans to send a statement out on Thursday.