Devious Licks Defacing Copper Hills

Imagine walking into a bathroom at your school, only to find soap dispensers missing, toilets destroyed, and stalls doors missing. Later that day, you find yellow tape and cardboard blocking off the bathroom. Known as “devious licks,” this popular Tiktok challenge encourages students to steal or damage property from their school. The trend hit its peak near the beginning of the school year, and has since died down. However it is in no way over or complete. 

The stealing pushed by the trend has quite the impact on students. Being the most common room without cameras, bathrooms are the major point of impact, with theft of anything from just a soap dispenser to an entire bathroom stall door. 

But to what extent has this trend gone? Copper Hills Head Custodian, Zach Anderson, says, “[Students] would completely destroy the [bathroom stall] doors, beating it and kicking it off.” This damage has caused multiple bathrooms to be completely closed off for days at a time in order to address the problem. Ms. Merrill, our school’s librarian, expressed concern over damage done in the library. She said, “Earlier in the school year when Ms. Maloy was still the librarian, [students] would put fruits behind books and they would rot.” Additionally, the damage costs the school a lot of money.

Instead of using money to benefit students’ learning, school’s have to use extra money to repair ruined bathrooms. It costs at least $700 to replace one stall. Anderson said, “The door itself is $400…. With labor and parts, it’s about $700 and $15 per soap dispenser.” $15 may not seem like a lot for a soap dispenser, but as a reference, Anderson says he has replaced close to 100 dispensers.

To the students who participate in these devious licks, kicking off doors and ripping sinks off the wall, there are very few benefits to stealing and vandalizing school property. Anderson said, “Soap dispensers are about $15 a pop, but they have no value outside of the school.”

When the perpetrator is inevitably found, Assistant Principal Glen Varga states that the consequences include, “Anything from warnings to police charges.” Multiple students have already faced these consequences, but that has not stopped others from trying. However, some students recognize the absurdness of the trend.

Kennedie Wilding, a senior at Copper Hills, says, “First off, it’s a stupid name. And what’s the point?” This is a common belief held by students about “devious licks” at our school. Some students seem to find the resulting damage irritating and disruptive, especially when it closes down bathrooms.To remedy the situation, Wilding suggested putting cameras outside the bathroom and make the students pay for the damage they caused.

The student response to “devious licks” is puzzling; if most students are opposed to it, who is actually doing it and why? Varga suggests that the popularity and participation in the trend is due to mob mentality. “Kids are so easily swayed by social media,” he says.

This Tiktok trend has harmed our school and many others in similar situations. It is our job as students to be respectful — which includes respecting school property and supplies. If we can’t even show appreciation for the institution that we belong to, how are we supposed to be respectful to our workplaces or coworkers after high school? One of the main purposes of school is to prepare us for life, and it is our responsibility to be malleable enough for that to happen. That ability to adapt and grow as individuals will benefit us in the long run.