EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – News sites have recently reported numerous cases of vandalism and destruction of property in schools across the country due to a new “trend” on TikTok called the “Devious Lick.”
With arrests, convictions, school expulsions, and many other ramifications coming from these activities, the administration within our local county is attempting to get ahead of the trend here. Superintendent Dr. Brian Ridley released a statement and a letter to parents about the trend. Dr. Ridley noted that we have had “minimal issues” in our county.
The challenge of this trend requires the student to steal or destroy items from their school and later post a video bragging about the crime. Make no mistake law enforcement all over the country has condemned the trend and are pursuing it as criminal activity. Law enforcement have reported what some refer to as “Organized Criminal Activity” as an arrest-able offense.
Schools are also reacting, with some going so far as locking restrooms and certain areas during classtime. Gilmer has not reached this point, however, as they are attempting to deal with the “Devious Licks” before they become a real issue.
The letter to parents states
You may have already seen news stories regarding a concerning new TikTok trend called the “Devious Lick Challenge”. The challenge involves students destroying and stealing school property (particularly in bathrooms) and posting it on social media. Although there have been minimal problems locally, the challenge has become widely disruptive in some areas of the country.
We ask that you please speak with your children about the dangers of engaging in destructive and dangerous social media activities. Vandalism of school property is a serious violation of the school code of conduct that can lead to suspension and even long-term expulsion in addition to significant restitution fees.
In Gilmer County, our students are very fortunate to have access to top notch facilities. Pride in our schools is a large part of our culture. Aside from the fact that this latest challenge is just plain dumb, engaging in this type of behavior is beneath us.
Looking through reports in other cases show countless arrests and charges ranging from petty theft to vandalism, criminal mischief, destruction of government property, and more.
While some are questioning why there is such a serious response to minor theft. Some of the “trends” are posted with items as small as hand sanitizer or soap dispensers. However, other reports indicate that many include larger items ranging from toilet seats to even fire alarms.
The Gilmer Sheriff’s Office has already worked with school’s in previous years where they have worked with Gilmer Schools and even prosecuted students for issues. That Appalachian Judicial Circuit has also proven its willingness to follow through with criminal prosecutions with District Attorney Alison Sosebee going so far as performing in school presentations warning students about the possible outcomes of criminal activity, though her presentations focused on SnapChat at the time with the trend towards photos of underage kids.
As of this time, Gilmer Schools is hoping to get to its students and parents before any major issues arise or possibly create a major incident.