Fremont hit by TikTok’s “devious lick” challenge

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Quinten Seghers I The Phoenix

A lone napkin dispenser from the cafeteria lays between the two outer soccer fields at Fremont.

TikTok is a place where celebrities are seemingly created overnight and where crazy trends go viral. Users on the platform have a tendency to create far-reaching trends, sometimes with dire consequences. This is exemplified by the latest Tik Tok craze, which has already left its mark on Fremont High: the “devious licks”.

The devious lick trend targets schools specifically; students post videos of themselves stealing, vandalizing or destroying their schools’ property, primarily from the bathrooms.

Initially, the trend started out as a soap dispenser challenge. Students broke apart or stole the soap dispensers in their school bathrooms. But it escalated in a dramatic fashion. 

So far, at Fremont, there have been numerous instances of red dye found on toilet seats, missing or damaged soap dispensers, broken sink handles and soap pumps being placed inside toilets. A fire extinguisher and a mirror were also stolen. A hand dryer in the B-building was also damaged, which is a fire hazard. 

Photo Courtesy of anonymous

In response to this, the school administration made the decision to shut down several bathrooms where the majority of the damage was taking place. This decision has impacted numerous students.

“I can’t go pee sometimes because I don’t have enough time to run to a bathroom within five minutes and the bathrooms are so clumped up sometimes,” FHS senior Katie Lee said.   

At a certain point, all boy bathrooms in the A and B building were closed as well as the bathrooms closest to the cafeteria. 

Many question why it is that most “devious licks” so far have been committed in the boys and not the girls restrooms.  

“I don’t wanna say that it’s expected behavior but a lot of times boys in high school are known for being more reckless than the girls so knowing that it makes sense,” FHS junior Trinity Lee said. 

Various bathrooms have been intermittently closed and reopened in response to the frequency of “devious lick” pranks.  

“Four [bathrooms] have been pretty much consistently closed for boys,” FHS Dean of 11th and 12th graders Connor Smith said. “We’ve only closed one girls’ room once because [most of the pranks] haven’t been there.”

According to Smith, bathrooms across campus will continue to be closed intermittently until the “devious licks” stop. 

Another consequence of the “devious licks” is a new rule that has been put in place at Fremont. Students without a sixth or seventh period are not allowed to roam freely around campus anymore. They can either go home, go to the library or go to Students For Success for tutoring in room 76. This rule does not apply to after-school hours. 

These restrictions have only been placed during the sixth and seventh block so that a safe and non-distracting learning environment can be maintained. The administration said in an email that they believe a majority of the “devious licks” are happening during these blocks.      

While all of the schools in the district have been affected by “devious licks”, Fremont has been hit the hardest so far. According to Mr. Smith, in terms of overtime pay for the facilities team and paying to replace certain supplies, “devious licks” have cost Fremont about $3,000 in estimated damages. As of press time, there are reports of extra tiling damage in one of the bathrooms.

This number does not take into account the amount of time that staff have had to divert from other duties in order to address this problem. 

The consequences from participants of this trend can be felt universally across campus.

“I don’t understand why you have to steal or break something,” junior Ethan Louie said. “You’re just inconveniencing everyone.” 

Both faculty and students alike across campus question the rationale behind participants of this trend.

“I think students are participating in this because they want to look cool, but in reality they don’t,” FHS junior Nitin Chandranath said.

Others feel that the situation may be more reflective of some deeper underlying feelings or issues that certain students have instead of just a desire to look cool. 

“I think that it probably has a lot to do with students not considering the totality of their actions for one thing,” history teacher Geoff Beckstrom said. “Then also there is a kind of a self destructive instinct or maybe just an instinct to lash out against something or some institution that [students] feel has been unfair to them in some way. Perhaps it’s nothing more than a wanton desire for destruction.” 

TikTok has now disabled users from searching the term “devious licks” on their app. Users are now left with a search icon that has the words ‘no results found’. There is also an additional message stating that the phrase “devious licks” is associated with content or behavior that violates their community guidelines.

With the “devious licks” trend having enjoyed its short-lived fame, a new trend has now taken its place. This more recent trend is most commonly referred to as angelic yields. 

Quinten Seghers – The Phoenix

This is the exact opposite of “devious licks” where students now record and share footage of themselves giving or putting items back into the school bathrooms to make amends for other students’ “devious licks”. So to replace the stolen or damaged soap dispensers, hand dryers and urinals, students are now donating cash, coffee machines, mini-fridges and other assorted items to help their school.

It appears now the devious lick craze is dying down at Fremont, as there has been a significant downturn in pranks this past week as of press time. The administration is currently making plans to re-open restrooms in the 150’s and 80’s wing as well as the C-building if the downtrend in pranks continues.

Unfortunately, these actions cannot undo the damage already done. If students are caught participating in a “devious lick” all disciplinary measures are on the table according to Smith. This includes suspension, citations from the police or 

more. So far, eight different students have been disciplined for being involved in the bathroom pranks, and any other students involved will be subjected to the same consequences.

“I highly counsel against getting involved in any way because if you are caught it will be something that follows you around for a long time and we don’t want that,” Smith said. “No prank is worth that. We want you to graduate and go on to bigger and better things, but that starts with let’s follow some common sense guidelines.”