You may have heard about “devious licks” and like most parents…brushed it off as another unfamiliar term your teen is using these days.
So what’s the deal? Devious licks are pranks that are resulting in damage to property, harm to teachers and other students and are getting some kids in serious trouble. Let us be direct: Devious licks are not pranks, they are CRIMES and you need to talk to your students about taking part in these “challenges” immediately.
Where is this coming from? TikTok.
If you aren’t familiar, read more about the platform HERE.
The Devious Licks trend started on TikTok as another challenge and has spread like wildfire across the country. It started with a simple dare to steal something and post the proof via TikTok. Teens started getting more bold, and the trend then turned to damaging school property and filming the act. Students targeted bathrooms because it’s usually one of the only unmonitored areas in school. Broken toilets, mirrors, soap dispensers, and towel dispensers have been left in the wake of this particular challenge, sometimes in other public places besides schools. Many schools and businesses have resorted to restricting access to restrooms to curb the damage and some have managed to end that particular “trend”.
So, we caught on to kids vandalizing bathrooms, but that was sooo September. (Insert Eye Roll and Vocal Fry)
October brought a new challenge: “Slap a Teacher”.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Students were filming and posting videos of them and their peers slapping staff members.
What’s the challenge for November? “Kiss your Girlfriend at School”.
While a kiss at school seems tame compared to slapping a staff member, there is the potential of the challenge including an unwilling partner, a forced kiss, minors.
Rumor has it, there will be a new challenge each month. Here is what we might expect based on compiling several lists from different sources we found:
December: Deck the halls and show your b@!ls
January: Jab a breast
February: Target school signs
March: Make a mess in the courtyard or cafeteria
April: “Grab some eggz” (another stealing challenge)
May: Ditch day
June: Flip off in the front office
July: Spray a neighbor’s fence
We don’t know the specifics of a few of these challenges, but one thing they is clear: the “challenges” all involve criminal activity of some sort, and the evidence will be posted on social media.
We at Project B3, strongly encourage parents talk to their teens about TikTok and how these “pranks” are not something that they should participate in on any level. They should not do them, they should not film them, they should not share, like or comment on them. Explain how each of these challenges can and will be viewed as criminal activity and the TikToks (videos) are the evidence.
We generally avoid suggesting surveillance tactics when it comes to teens and social media, but considering the gravity, popularity and longevity of the Devious Licks trend on TikTok we do think it’s wise to keep a closer eye on kids who are particularly active posters on the app. The least invasive way to do that would be to create an account of your own and ask to follow your child’s account. Sometimes just knowing you are paying attention will deter them from succumbing to the urge to try one of these “pranks”.