A new TikTok trend has led to vandalism and thief at Fremont High School.
TikTok, the user-generated social media giant, has amassed a huge audience during the past two years, leading it to become one of the largest and most popular social media companies in the world.
Dance songs and funny videos have been the majority of the company’s content, but recently, users on the platform have kick-started new trends that border or cross the point of being illegal.
One of these new trends is the aptly named “devious licks” trend.
This trend involves vandalizing, destroying or outright stealing property, most commonly in schools, but it is not confined to just this setting. Countless videos on the platform when searching the trend can show students who have stolen soap dispensers, toilet paper dispensers, cameras, exit signs, fire extinguishers, computers and a plethora of other objects.
“We initially thought it was just vandalism,” said Fremont High School Principal Myron Sikora. “The evening after that first incident, I got information from another teacher in the district that let us know that it’s related to this TikTok trend.
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“Following that incident, on Sept. 10, we started monitoring restrooms because that seems to be where the stealing and vandalism was localized,” Sikora said. “The items in the bathrooms were not just stolen either, most of it was vandalized. We had stall doors taken off the stalls. We had paper towel rolls and toilet paper that was thrown in toilets. We had toilet paper dispensers that were torn apart then thrown in a toilet.”
Though most of this trend’s impact at the school was vandalism, there were some thefts.
“We had a wet floor sign that was stolen as well as cafeteria trays,” Sikora said.
More often than not, this trend is done within the school bathrooms, which also poses a challenge for the school because cameras are not in or near the bathroom areas.
This often leads to few or no suspects.
Fremont High School closed down restrooms leading into the afternoon hours starting on Friday, Sept 10 with the restrooms being opened again on the following Monday.
During that weekend, Sikora sent out a message to parents and faculty about the situation.
The message informed those unaware of the incident while also imploring students, faculty and parents to notify the school if they have any information.
Names of the students who committed these acts were not given, but school officials have caught six to eight students believed to have been involved.
“There were probably more than that though involved,” said Sikora. This is not an isolated incident in the United States or even Nebraska. Multiple Omaha schools have also been affected by this trend, including Millard, Westside and Elkhorn.
Even to the south at Lincoln High has seen incidents like this taking place.
“The great majority of our students, and other district’s students are not doing these things. It’s a very small portion of students doing this. I have faith in our student body that they will not fall into a trend like this,” Sikora said.
TikTok has implemented a new policy removing any videos of stealing and vandalism while also redirecting the hashtag “devious licks” in an effort to stop this trend from continuing any further.