What is the TikTok Bathroom Vandalism Challenge? (aka Devious Licks)

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November 1, 2021

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What is the TikTok Devious Licks or Bathroom Vandalism Challenge?

  • Students on TikTok encourage viewers to vandalize their school’s bathrooms
  • Schools are finding damage from simple toilet paper spread across the bathrooms all the way to costly damages needing plumbing and construction repair
  • The trend continues as students cause destruction in their schools, take videos of their “creations,” and share the videos on TikTok

This guide will teach parents and educators how to navigate this dangerous trend and how to talk to students about dangerous social media challenges.

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Table of Contents

Schools across the country are experiencing new student behavioral issues, thanks to the dangerous social media challenge of the TikTok Bathroom Vandalism (aka Devious Licks) Challenge.

Parent & educator training video

Listen to the TikTok Bathroom Vandalism Challenge guide

What is the TikTok Bathroom Vandalism Challenge (aka Devious Licks)?

  • Students on TikTok encourage viewers to vandalize their school’s bathrooms
  • Schools are finding damage from simple toilet paper spread across the bathrooms all the way to costly damages needing plumbing and construction repair
  • The trend continues as students cause destruction in their schools, take videos of their “creations,” and share the videos on TikTok

TikTok Devious Licks Challenge in the news

"Studenets vandalizing restrooms at Austin ISD middle schools as part of 'Tik Tok Bathroom challenge' KVUE headline in Austin, Texas
Students on social media (TikTok platform) are encouraging other students to destroy school restrooms by throwing trash on the floors, pulling off soap dispensers, stealing toilet paper, and in some cases, destroying the plumbing...

KVUE

"Bathroom time limited after 'distrubting' TikTok trend leads to vandalism pipe damage at Wakefield Middle" WRAL.com Raleigh, North Carolina headline
Because these breaks will likely disrupt and decrease instructional time, students may be assigned additional homework that evening in order to keep on pace with the curriculum

WRAL.com

"Damaging TikTok trend hits Sacramento-area school district with bathroom vandalism" The Sacramento Bee headline
‘I don’t think we’ve seen anything that extreme’

The Sacramento Bee

"TikTok "bathroom vandalism' challenge hitting Lincoln Public Schools" 1011 Now headline from Lincoln, Nebraska
A local student said ‘Imagine what it would be like for someone to come in your home and break and steal your things’

10 11 Now

What can parents do?

  • Talk with your student about what they have seen online, especially on social media apps like TikTok
  • Have a discussion with your student about the serious consequences of public vandalism
  • Remind students that nothing online is ever anonymous and local law enforcement and app companies can, and often will, work with schools to track down who posted social media videos showing criminal activity
  • Talk with your student and remind them that the only goal of these negative social media challenges is to gain attention and negative attention, even online, can have real-life consequences right away and in their future
  • Follow your student on social media to get an idea of what they are viewing and discussing
  • Help students find positive social media challenges or discussions to follow or participate in

Conclusion

Vandalizing public property, like a school bathroom, could be prosecuted as a criminal offense. The peer pressure students feel to participate in dangerous challenges spans beyond their in-person social connections to students from across the nation sharing their activities online.

Students must know the consequences of participating in dangerous social media challenges, like the “Bathroom Vandalism Challenge,” and adults can help them find a positive purpose for the time online and offline. Even if TikTok filters out these types of videos from showing in users’ feeds, the trend may still continue by word-of-mouth and/or on other social media apps.


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