A TikTok challenge known as “Devious Licks” has prompted acts of vandalism by students at Nantucket High School, forcing administrators to close all but two bathrooms in the school that are now being closely monitored to prevent further incidents.
The viral “Devious Licks” challenge on TikTok, the popular video sharing social media app, encourages users to post videos of themselves stealing and damaging items in school bathrooms. It has been reported in schools across the country, and Nantucket High School principal Mandy Vasil sent a message out to parents Wednesday night asking them to “support our efforts by talking with your child and explaining the severity of these actions.”
Vasil said the incidents at NHS began on the first day of school when red dye was sprayed in toilets and sinks in the bathrooms. It has since escalated to soap and paper towel dispensers being pulled off the walls and stolen.
“The high school, the middle school and I believe the intermediate school have been victims of this so far,” Vasil said. “When we found out, we decided to take action. Every school in the nation is dealing with this right now.”
The high school reacted by locking all the bathrooms in the building with the exception of the gender neutral bathrooms near the cafeteria – the doors of which are monitored by surveillance cameras – and the bathrooms in the front lobby. Those facilities are now being monitored by teachers who have been pulled off hall duty to sign students in and out of the bathrooms. The school is making special accommodations for students with medical issues.
“We do not want students to have the opportunity to execute the next steps (of the Devious Licks challenge), which include taking sinks off the walls,” Vasil wrote in her message to the school community.
The Nantucket Police Department’s school resource officer Cassie Thompson is actively monitoring social media in an attempt to identify students who have vandalized the school and deter future acts, Vasil said.