Valley schools see rise in theft, vandalism due to 'devious licks' TikTok trend

Schools in the Phoenix area are warning parents about a TikTok trend that is leading to vandalism at schools locally, and in other parts of the country.

The trend, called "Devious Lick," encourages students to steal and damage school property. Most of the vandalism is taking place in school bathrooms.

"Kids will be kids, right? We’ve all been teenagers, we’ve all done stupid things, but now, with the internet, apps, they can be sort of famous for doing that," said Barrett Marson, whose son attends Chandler's Hamilton High School. "My son sent me a picture of, like -- there were three soap dispensers. Two of them were gone, only one was left."

Parents in Chandler and Mesa have received letters from school officials in recent days about the incidents.

"Damaging school property is a felony. If a student is caught destroying and/or defacing our campus, there will be school suspension, full restitution and a police report," read a portion of a letter sent out by Chandler school officials.

"Consequences for stealing or destroying school property are severe, and can include expulsion and police involvement," read a portion of a letter sent out by Mesa school officials.

Some campuses have limited access to bathrooms in response to the challenge.

"Bathroom access was temporarily limited on affected campuses, so that security or other staff members could monitor and react to any further incidents. We are disappointed this is the case," read a portion of a statement released by Tempe Union High School District officials.

"That’s the wrong approach," said Marson. "In the middle of a pandemic, we don’t want people washing their hands less."

A spokesperson for TikTok has released the following statement:

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