Several schools in a Washington school district have reported rampant vandalism and theft due to a viral TikTok challenge, KOMO says.
The Mukilteo School District in Snohomish County says students stole soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, and even a fire extinguisher as part of the "Devious Lick" challenge. TikTok users have taken various objects, including sinks, toilets, and traffic lights, to get attention on the platform. If they can't steal items, they sometimes destroy them or bathrooms.
"This is happening nationwide, and our schools are also experiencing theft and vandalism as a result. We’ve already had several paper towel dispensers and soap dispensers turn up missing or get torn off the wall and thrown in the toilets. At least one fire extinguisher has also turned up missing," the district emailed to parents.
School officials confirmed four middle schools and at least two high schools have been affected by the challenge.
"Please emphasize that any theft or vandalism to school property has consequences, including potential suspension, fines and even criminal charges. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain our schools and help children understand how to respect school property. It is especially important now when custodial and other staff are working extra hard to maintain clean buildings with the increased risks from COVID-19," officials added.
KOMO also reached out to TikTok for comment on the concerning trend. Here's what they told reporters:
"We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities. We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior."