Tik Tok’s Newest Trend – “Devious Licks” – is Getting Teens Arrested

September 30, 2021 Criminal Defense, Juvenile Offenses, Social Media

Tik Tok has been known in the past for hosting some dangerous trends, like the Milk Crate Challenge and Kylie Lip Trend, which will go viral for a few months, and eventually fade into obscurity as a new trend takes over the social media app. The latest trend has teachers, law enforcement, and parents alike searching for solutions.

The “Devious Licks” trend, according to Wikipedia, is also known as “diabolical licks” or “dastardly licks” and constitutes students posting videos of themselves stealing and vandalizing from their schools or classmates.

Origin of the Trend

Earliest signs of the trend’s inception can be seen in early September after Tik Tok user jugg4elias uploaded a video showing off a box of disposable medical masks that they claim to have stolen from school. The caption stated, “A month into school…devious lick.” After that, videos with the caption or sound “devious lick” started to flood the social media platform. Students were stealing their school’s soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, toilet paper roll holders, exit signs, telephones, and even large items like sinks, mirrors, floor and ceiling tiles, smart boards, and microphones.

These videos are usually easy to find on the platform, as most of them use a sound clip of Lil B’s song “Ski Ski BasedGod,” a clickable sound that shows other videos that also use the clip. However, Tik Tok has started cracking down on this trend after pressure from law enforcement across the nation. When you search the term “devious licks” you will find “No results found.” A Tik Tok spokesperson reported to CNN that “[w]e expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities. We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”

Public Response

Teachers, other school officials, law enforcement, and parents are up in arms, not knowing how to handle this viral trend. It started out lightly enough, with a teacher posting funny memes on social media about “Devious Licks.” Now, it has escalated, as teachers can now be seen begging the parents of students to intervene and stop the trend.

Schools have attempted to curb the stealing and property damage by locking bathrooms for large portions of the day and demanding students keep their phones on their desks when they go to the bathroom so they cannot film in there.

School counselor Phyllis Fagell, author of “Middle School Matters: The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond–and How Parents Can Help,” warns school officials to refrain from cracking down on students too harshly. She stated that she has a “lot of empathy for administrators who are dealing with this behavior,” but warned that punishing all students in a school for the actions of only a select few could actually exacerbate the problems, leading to students’ distrust of school officials. The bathroom ban, in particular, could have unintended consequences, as John Duffy, a clinical psychologist and family therapist in Chicago reported to CNN, stating “some of [his] socially anxious clients choose to suffer significant discomfort than disrupt a teacher in class to use the bathroom for fear of the social attention,” and if the bathroom is locked down, these kids will be even more anxious since the facility, and safe harbor is not available to them.

Criminal Charges

After Tik Tok attempted to limit the visibility of the “devious licks” trend, USA Today reported that law enforcement officials across the country have started to arrest and charge students accused of any acts of theft and vandalism on school property. In Kentucky, Boone County Sheriff’s Office announced that eight juvenile offenders from various schools across the county are being charged with criminal offenses related to the trend, including vandalism and theft charges.

In Florida, CBS Tampa Bay reported that Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Alicia Manautou issued a statement saying that “[i]f you’re in Polk County and you choose to participate in this particular TikTok challenge, this ‘Devious Lick Challenge,’ you’re also choosing to be arrested.” In Polk County, a fifteen-year-old has already been arrested and charged with petty theft and criminal mischief after allegedly stealing a soap dispenser and destroying another one at Bartow High School.

Tallahassee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in this trend and is facing criminal charges, it is incredibly important to retain the help of a Tallahassee criminal defense attorney who can protect you or your children during the legal process. Don Pumphrey and the members of the legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have decades of experience defending juvenile offenders against a wide array of charges. Call us today at (850) 681-7777 or send an online message to discuss your case during an open and free consultation with an attorney in our legal team.

Article written by Gabi D’Esposito

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