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TikTok challenge encouraging vandalism

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 8:16 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - A nationwide social media challenge on Tik Tok is causing chaos in schools across the country. In the challenge students are encouraged to damage school property.

Even though TikTok has now banned these videos, the destruction has made its way to mid-Michigan.

A series of vidoes on the social media platform show students across the nation ripping drinking fountains, soap dispensers and urinals off walls. The challenge is called “devious licks” and it’s happened at Jackson schools. The district posted about it on Facebook, asking parents to talk with their kids about avoiding this challenge.

Parents who talked with News 10 feel sorry for those who have to clean up the mess.

Jennifer Walworth, who is both a teacher and a parent, said, “The janitors are going to be the ones cleaning up the messes because we don’t know who did what and I mean they’re upset. We want to know who did it. It’s just crazy.”

Northwest High School student Leah Baker says it happened there as well. Many of the larger bathrooms are closed and the smaller ones are monitored as a result of the damage.

She says students even went as far as to take cameras off the ceilings and a toilet off the wall.

Baker said, “People are trying to get famous and get money from it and honestly it’s just stupidity, because administration is talking about whoever is posting pictures of it in trouble for it.”

TikTok has banned devious licks videos and is redirecting hashtags for the challenge to community guidelines to discourage the behavior. Meanwhile, the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department warns students that participating in this trend that it’s more serious than they think.

Captain Andrew Daenzer said, “From a legal aspect, we take a malicious destruction of property complaint if the school wants that report done. It can be anything from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the dollar value of the damage that’s being done.”

Jackson Public Schools declined to comment when asked about the incident.

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