‘#DeviousLicks’ trend harms students, teachers


Morgan Reese

Screenshots of 10 TikToks show off the users’ “most devious licks.” The hashtag has been banned from TikTok. Videos displaying the trend have now been deleted. “I think it’s sad that someone has to measure their own value based on how many “likes” they get,” Broadcast adviser Michael Hatch said. “Our incredible kids are so much more than that.”

Morgan Reese, Reporter

“#DeviousLicks” blew up on the social media app TikTok. Videos with the most “devious lick” – or act of theft – garnered hundreds of thousands of views. The trend consists of students stealing an item from their school, like bathroom utilities, teachers’ belongings and school technology. While the hashtag and phrase have now been banned from the app, the school property theft problem still persists.

The trend made its way to Prosper High School with soap and paper towel dispensers disappearing from bathrooms around the school. According to an email sent home by Principal John Burdett, students who administrators find participating in the trend will be punished in accordance with the student handbook and will need to provide financial compensation for their theft. If the damage cost more than $750 to repair or a student is a repeat offender, the case will be taken to Prosper Police Department as a criminal offense resulting in ticketing.

“Although this trend appears to be nationwide, we will deal with it directly and vandalism/theft of our facilities will not be tolerated,” Burdett said in the Sept. 17 email that went to teachers and parents. “Not only is it wrong for anyone to do this, but it also puts a huge strain on our custodial staff to have to go clean up this vandalism when they could be doing their normal work of keeping all of PHS clean. I am requesting your assistance in helping us to stop this behavior at PHS.”

Last week, Eagle Nation News broadcast adviser Michael Hatch said he heard a loud crash in the bathroom while he was covering a class for co-adviser Natalie Merrill in Room 1146. He said he walked into the boys’ bathroom and found one of the trash cans wedged between one of the stall walls and the light.

“I really don’t like this trend,” Hatch said. “It’s destructive and criminal.”

One of the boy’s bathrooms sits without one paper towel dispenser and one soap dispenser. This bathroom sits on the Auditorium side. “It’s not cool,” senior Aiden Ulmer said. “It’s technically a crime.”

Sophomore Juliana Cruz said she believes the trend has gone too far.

“It’s really inappropriate how they’re trying to make it a trend, but now it’s getting really dangerous,” Cruz said. “They’re just doing this for clout. They’re following the leader.”

Hatch mentioned that the trend is affecting more than those who are posting the videos.

“I also see students who are not contributing to the trend suffering, all the way down to not having soap to use in our restrooms,” Hatch said. “I think it’s sad that someone has to measure their own value based on how many “likes” they get. Our incredible kids are so much more than that.”