Home News Local News ‘Devious licks’ trend hits RISD middle schools

‘Devious licks’ trend hits RISD middle schools

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A social media trend that challenges youth to steal or damage items at school has hit Roswell, and the superintendent said that while the trend seems to mostly be a nuisance, he hopes it fades quickly.

The “devious lick” challenge involves students stealing or vandalizing items at their schools and showing it off on TikTok, a social media platform in which users post short videos.

Urban Dictionary defines “licks” as a “successful type of theft which results in an acceptable, impressive and rewarding payday.”

Also known as “diabolical licks” or “dastardly licks,” the trend started earlier this month and has spread across the country. TikTok is reportedly taking action against the trend, such as removing content, blocking accounts and directing searches and hashtags to its community guidelines.

Roswell Independent School District Superintendent Brian Luck told the Roswell Daily Record on Friday the trend has appeared in each of the district’s middle schools but has not resulted in serious thefts or damage.

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“They’re grabbing the bags of hand sanitizer. They’re getting the wall apparatus that you put the hand sanitizer in,” he said.

The trend has gone beyond bathrooms, though.

“It seems to have gone one day from school stuff to teacher stuff,” Luck said.

Teachers reported missing items from their desks like nameplates. One reported a student trying to get his or her keys.

Luck said there are no cameras in school bathrooms, but principals have checked video from hallway cameras to see if students were walking out of bathrooms with a toilet seat, paper towel dispensers or other items.

One school had to restock its bathroom four times in one day, he said.

“We’ve had to close off some bathrooms. We still have restrooms, but, instead of there being one maybe right across the hall from you, you have to go down the hall,” he said.

“I will say this. The kids have been fairly good with us,” he said.

Luck said there were even some reports from teachers that students asked for an item so they could post online and then return it.

He’s instructed principals to be “low-key” about the trend, emphasizing that theft is not how students should treat each other or their schools.

“I’m relying pretty heavily on my mid-school guys to keep me informed with that. If they’ve apprehended somebody, it’s more of a learning experience, which is what I’m hoping. We’d sure like it to stop,” he said.

Parents can help by talking to their kids, he said.

“Just advise them we paid for that stuff with our tax dollars and schools didn’t budget and plan for you guys to be walking out there with four bags of hand sanitizer because it’s stupid, and then you’re going to throw it away,” he said.

If the trend does get worse, though, the district will take legal action against students, Luck said.

“If we can’t get them to just stop, then we’ll have to. It is vandalism. If you go and rip a dispenser off the wall, it’s not yours. That’s district property. My hope is that we can get our people to just recognize that it impacts them, too,” he said.

The trend does not seem to have included areas outside the schools. Roswell Police Department Public Information Officer Todd Wildermuth said reports of criminal damage have remained fairly consistent and there did not seem to be any recent reports that might be tied to the trend.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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