Administration Advises Students to “Report Suspicious Behavior” Amidst the “Devious Licks” Trend

Also referred to as dastardly licks, nefarious licks, or diabolical licks. Sinks, mirrors, lockers, and other school property have gone missing and many have videotaped their theft to follow the popular trend.

Beginning early September, thousands of videos have been posted on the popular app Tik Tok, depicting theft and vandalism to school property.

Other non-harmful trends have sparked on Tik Tok receiving millions of likes and attention. Its popularity as a social media platform accelerated during quarantine and has only increased rapidly this year.

Assistant principal Mr. Stevens said, “There were several incidents involving the abuse of school property, i.e., classroom clocks, paper towel and soap dispensers. Realizing that these events represented a trend encouraged by social media did not change our response to each event. We treated each as we usually would: repair the damage, check the school cameras, interview students, and hold individuals accountable.”

The trend has even led to the arrests of many students across the United States and allegedly spread to some schools in Canada, Latin America, and Australia. In Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, and Arizona, a total of 13 students from various high school were either arrested or charged with theft/vandalism as a result of the trend.

Notwithstanding, lockers and other school property were taken. Teachers and administrators noticed, however, that bathrooms were being hit more than any other school site. Soap dispensers, sinks, and even toilets were among the items totaled up.

At Towson High School, new bathroom measures were implemented to cease the actions of this trend.  All bathrooms on the second floor are locked all day with the exception of the single-use bathroom across from the front office. All students will be forced to essentially use the 1st and 3rd floor bathrooms.

“The second-floor bathrooms by the gym have been open all year and remained open on September 17th. On September 17th, however, new bathroom measures were attempted to restrict access to only times when a staff member was on duty. This lasted one day. The attempted new measures were not because of ‘Devious Licks.’ They were an overdue attempt on my part to balance two needs: (1) honoring a negotiated increase in teacher planning time – which impacted staff availability – and (2) documenting bathroom visits,” Mr. Stevens said.

On September 30, Principal Charlene DiMino issued a statement to parents addressing the trend.

“We are deeply concerned about this and ask you take this time to speak with your children and remind them that such action violate the law and BCPS Student Code of Conduct,” it said.

Towson administration has shown to take the recent behavior seriously.

“We will not tolerate such behavior and any student who participates in these dangerous and disruptive acts will receive serious school-based consequences and possible criminal charges,” DiMino stated.

“The ‘Devious Licks’ trend did require additional time and resources from school-based staff. We appreciate the efforts of our teachers, custodians, school resource officers, and students who demonstrated leadership by helping keep a social media trend from distracting our focus on instruction and learning,” Mr. Stevens said

Schools like Towson High strive to create a supportive and safe environment to all students and staff. It should be ensured that all students can learn and thrive without disruption.

“We ask parents and students report suspicious behavior to a member of our administration team,” the statement read.