Devious lick challenge baffles school community

TikTok introduced an invasive trend that infiltrated schools across the country. American flags, restroom stall doors, toilet seats, soap dispensers, and more school property have fallen victim to this new challenge which users of the app refer to as “Devious Lick”. On Sept. 1, 2021, TikTok user @jugg4elias committed the first “lick” in history. He recorded himself taking a box of disposable masks from his backpack, captioned “a month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask from home.” Little did he know, this video would gain over 239,000 views in less than a week. 

Senior, Davis Elleman recounts his experience with this challenge, claiming it has become more of a nuisance than a farce. 

“I thought it was funny at first. Everyone taking stupid little things and people getting mad didn’t seem so bad, but then people started stealing stuff in the bathrooms and it got annoying,” Elleman said. “One time I went to the bathroom and both toilet seats were gone.”

This situation, however, didn’t improve. The disappearances of items from the school’s bathroom only increased. It increased so much that many students like Elleman thought they may have to bring their own toiletries. 

“It kinda became the norm. The little soap dispenser things were missing all the time,” Elleman said. “For a while, I thought I was gonna have to bring my own soap.”

After actions taken by the school, things seemed to calm down. Principal Dr. Griep mandated that forms were to be filled out before leaving and teachers were to be stationed outside of every restroom.

“It was really weird seeing teachers and especially the principal sitting outside the bathrooms, but I think it worked,” Elleman said. “After they did that, everything kinda slowed down. I think people got the message”

Junior Ethan Chapman felt almost the same way about these new rules. 

“I mean, I understand that they have to do these rules. It’s just a little weird to see them there every time I have to go,” Chapman said. “Luckily, I don’t have to worry about not having toilet paper anymore.”

Chapman couldn’t believe this trend made its way to schools. 

“When I heard about it, I figured, man I’m never gonna see this, but come a few weeks and here it is,” Chapman said. “As soon as I saw the first thing gone, I knew kids were gonna go crazy about it.” 

This trend surprised students who don’t use Tiktok even more. Without using it, many had no idea why these items were disappearing. Senior Micah Seigel is one of these kids. 

“I first heard from people talking about it, and stuff disappearing from the bathrooms, and they were just saying they were gonna post about it,” Seigel said. 

Many of his teachers had their own thoughts about the trend.

“My teachers were really annoyed. They just kept talking about how they paid for a lot of their stuff,” Seigel said. “So they were worried people wouldn’t realize they’re stealing from them, not the school who can just replace stuff.”

One of these teachers was English teacher RachelClaire Cockrell who had first-hand experience with the trend. She fell into the category of people who didn’t learn about the trend from tiktok. This, however, did not stop her from experiencing it. 

“It took me a while to pick up on it. The first time I ever saw it was on Mrs. Monson’s instagram,” Cockrell said. “She posted a sign that she put up in her classroom that said, ‘no devious licks’. I legitimately thought that students were licking doorknobs.”

Cockrell soon realized that students licking doorknobs would be the least of her issues. Quickly after learning about the trend, Cockrell fell victim to one of these licks. 

“The day before I realized my American flag was missing, so I realized, oh I bet I’ve been tiktoked,” Cockrell said. “I was like, ok? Whatever. Say the pledge to the corner. When I realized it was gone, I didn’t realize it was a tiktok thing.”

Immediately after experiencing this lick, Cockrell was met with a wave of teachers coming out with their stories about the tiktok challenge. 

“Then, Mrs. Davis sent out an email to faculty of her two-foot long sign that went missing and people started replying with their own stories,” Cockrell said.

Clearly, this trend was an issue, so Cockrell quickly spoke with her students about the consequences of some of their actions. 

“Then I talked to my class and told them that most of the stuff in my room I bought myself,” Cockrell said. “So when you decide to take it from my room or other teacher’s rooms, you’re taking stuff that teachers bought.”

She even began taking action before the administration had a chance. 

“I was already making a checkout form before Dr. Griep sent his out,” Cockrell said.