Utah schools fall victim to TikTok trend encouraging vandalism
Sep 16, 2021, 4:25 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 2:47 pm
SANDY, Utah — A new trend called “devious lick,” which refers to students damaging school property or stealing it, went viral on TikTok — and it’s costing Utah schools thousands of dollars.
“We’ve heard of urinal plumbing being damaged and rerouted to spray on people who flush the urinals,” said Jeff Haney, Canyons School District spokesperson. “We’ve even had heat sensors at one of our schools damaged to the point where the alarms wouldn’t turn off.”
The hashtag started trending recently and, according to Haney, hit a fever pitch in the last few days. He said students recording their crimes has become a big problem.
So much so that TikTok released this tweet earlier Wednesday.
“We expect our community to create responsibly, online and IRL. We’re removing content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools and teachers.”
We expect our community to create responsibly – online and IRL. We're removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools & teachers. pic.twitter.com/mIFtsYwFRb
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 15, 2021
The vandalism and thefts have garnered millions of views on social media. Haney said the videos could ultimately be the reason the vandals are caught and prosecuted, adding the district has no intention of taking these matters lightly.
“This is serious, and frankly, it won’t be tolerated in the Canyons School District,” he said.
He said every single high school in the district has been hit, and the principal at Alta High School even sent a letter home to parents alerting them of the trend.
Students can anonymously report damage if they see it.