Viral TikTok challenge encourages kids to steal, destroy items from schools

Posted 9/22/21

School districts and law enforcement across the country are warning parents about the ‘Devious Licks’ TikTok challenge that has gone viral and encourages kids to steal from and vandalize …

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Viral TikTok challenge encourages kids to steal, destroy items from schools

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School districts and law enforcement across the country are warning parents about the ‘Devious Licks’ TikTok challenge that has gone viral and encourages kids to steal from and vandalize schools.

“There are some really good things on TikTok,” said Fatima High School Principal Sharyl Kelsch. “I have a daughter who uses stuff from there every day, so I know there is some good stuff. But there are some really dumb things on TikTok. I am afraid we have some students that are falling into the dumb category of what they are following on TikTok. This is harmful. I would encourage parents to monitor what their kids are looking at on there.”

On Sept. 15, TikTok denounced the trend and said it will remove all the videos related to Devious Licks.

TikTok took to Twitter concerning the growing issue: “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.”

Osage County Sheriff Mike Bonham said he had not seen any of the videos on TikTok but he was made aware of the viral challenge by a local parent. 

“It’s never a good idea to steal anything, even if you plan on taking it back,” said Bonham. “Common sense tells us not to steal stuff. It is a crime and you will be punished for it. We have not received any reports from the schools.”

Deputy Scott John of the Maries County Sheriff’s Department responded to the viral challenge by taking to Facebook on Sept. 16: “Please be aware there is a ridiculous TikTok challenge going around right now enticing children to ‘steal’ something from school, video themselves doing it, then try to return it later without getting caught. 

“Now, the challenge does include both returning the item and returning it undamaged,” the post continues. “However, we need to teach our children it is never all right to steal from someone, no matter what the reason. We must continue to instill respect for the property of others in the youth of our community. We must stand vigilant against the onslaught of peer pressures from social media platforms that attempt to chip away at the morals and ethics of our youth. Our children are the future of our community and country. Let’s stand together to teach them right from wrong. May it start in the home, while they’re young, so the lessons aren’t learned in our jails and courtrooms at a later age.”

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