Harmful TikTok spreading through the public school system

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(Logo from TikTok)

CULLMAN, Ala. – TikTok “challenges” can often be some of the quickest trending content on social media, whether harmless or harmful, and the latest creation is no different. The “devious licks challenge” is actively encouraging students to steal from their schools, and/or damage school property, to acquire “licks” and then post a video to their TikTok account as proof.

One video posted to the app shows several high school students removing soap containers from the dispensers in the bathrooms, before shredding toilet paper and covering the walls in the hand soap.

Another portrays students moving things such as tables, outside benches and chairs into the boys’ restroom, while the post is captioned, “We decided to redecorate.”

This challenge, though seen by many students as a simple method to gain internet traction and popularity, is encouraging acts of vandalism and severe disrespect for school property.

Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall explained, “We are aware of this social media challenge and have been communicating to students that any vandalism, theft or criminal mischief is still a crime, even if it is related to a TikTok trend, and can be prosecuted accordingly.”

She continued, “We always work hard to teach our students to take pride in their school and take care of the facilities whenever they are on campus.”

In addition, Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry spoke on the issue, saying, “Speaking with the Student Resource Officers (SRO’s), this has been an issue for the past couple of weeks. The schools and deputies are working together to ‘squash’ it. The schools are sending students who are caught to alternative school. If there is probable cause and sufficient evidence, Juvenile Probation is contacted, and charges are filed through the Juvenile Court System.”

Cullman County Schools has also issued a statement concerning the quickly-growing trend, “If students are caught participating, they will be disciplined and possibly face legal consequences. These actions will not be tolerated in Cullman County Schools. We ask that you have a conversation with your child and reinforce the importance of not participating, organizing, sharing or glamourizing this behavior.”

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