MOORE HAVEN -- The newest Tik Tok challenge is called the “Devious Lick” which invites students to video themselves and/or others stealing or damaging school property and to post on the social media site.
Also called “Diabolical Licks” or “Dastardly Licks” the trend seems to have originated earlier in September and quickly gained popularity across the nation.
The Glades County School District has been victimized, leading school officials to set some tough repercussions for students caught engaging in destructive or malicious activities including placing offenders in the Alternative Learning Center for a minimum of 45 days and filing criminal charges with the Glades County Sheriff’s Office.
Superintendent Dr. Beth Barfield said the school district has experienced not only “Devious Licks” activities but became victims of another Tik Tok challenge involving students spraying Kool-Aid drops throughout bathrooms to look like blood.
To date the district’s schools’ soap dispensers have been stolen, toilets clogged and seat belts cut out of the seats of school buses, to name a few offenses, Barfield said.
“It is very disappointing,” Barfield said. “However, I just want it to be noted that it’s a very small portion of our student body [involved].”
Barfield learned of the Tik Tok challenge when she overheard students talking about it. Not long afterwards, one of the district’s principals informed Barfield a Glades County school had been struck.
She got the word out to parents about the challenge through notifications and posts on social media sites and the consequences their children would face for intentional theft and destruction of school property.
“The students themselves were upset,” Barfield said. “This is a very small group of students doing this and it made everyone look bad. So, they were upset that kids were doing that.”
Senior and junior students took advantage of their leadership position and have been speaking out against the challenge, she said.
“We feel that our taxpayers work very hard to provide our students with a comfortable and clean and more importantly, safe environment that is conducive to teaching and learning,” she said. “And we’re not going to let a very few members of the student body bring that down. So, we’re letting parents know that there will be very strict punishment if students are caught.”
Barfield encouraged parents, students, staff and teachers to report such activities to a school district administrator to end the behaviors, adding that anonymous reports are welcome and kept confidential.
The schools held assemblies during the week informing students about the challenge and consequences for those caught participating in it.
“And since then, we have not had incidents because they know there are going to be severe consequences,” Barfield said.
Barfield said the community has been extremely proactive in helping the school district get ahead of the situation.
“They know that some students may consider this a game, but these challenges are very disruptive, and they will not be tolerated in our school district.”