‘It’s A Shame’: MHS Admin React to ‘Devious Lick’ Challenge
Soap dispensers smashed onto the floor, paper towels clogging toilets, faucet handles ripped off of sinks ‒ this is the description administrators gave of several boys’ bathrooms in the MHS building this past week.
The “devious lick” challenge, a new TikTok trend, is the inspiration behind the vandalism of school bathrooms and classrooms across the country. A “lick” is the act of successfully stealing or damaging something that belongs to someone else. The more damaging and destructive the prank is, the more devious it is deemed.
Principal Dr. Steve Hankins said he had first heard rumors about the trend last week, but did not see it happen in MHS until a few days ago.
“From the start, this trend has been damaging and literally goes against the law,” Hankins said. “It starts off with a kid thinking that stealing soap is funny, but kids like to one-up each other. The situation has not gotten out of control, but the entire Marquette staff is on the lookout to make sure this goes away.”
Dr. Hankins said the trend is not only illegal and reckless but also creates safety hazards. He said one of the most important things people can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 is washing their hands and maintaining good hygiene. The trend, he said, takes away one of the most important measures students and staff have against harmful germs.
Administrators have been looking through security camera footage, urging teachers to maintain logs of when their students use the restrooms and checking bathrooms two times an hour in order to determine the students responsible for the damages.
“I don’t think kids realize the hours upon hours it takes to clean up the messes they have created,” Dr. Hankins said. “The other day, I walked six miles back and forth through the halls while inspecting bathrooms. That is time and attention we could have used for much more important things. And for what, so someone can post a TikTok?”
Senior Principal Carl Hudson has been one of the main administrators in charge of overseeing building maintenance.
Like Dr. Hankins, Hudson has had to spend extra time monitoring halls and bathrooms and disciplining students.
Hudson said he presses students to realize that their prank is not just a prank, but is vandalism.
The costs of replacing soap dispensers, paper towels and toilet papers add up quickly, Hudson said.
“It’s vandalism that is wasting your parents’, your friend’s parents’ and our taxpayer dollars,” Hudson said. “It’s a shame because those dollars should be going towards benefitting MHS students.”
He said that, above all else, he wants students to know their actions are harming their peers, their school and their community.
Micah Schneberger, custodian, said that the trend has made work significantly more difficult for the entire custodial crew.
Schneberger said he wishes students understood the repercussions of how the actions they think are funny may harm other people. For staff members who have physical balancing issues like him, Schneberger said, soap and water on the floor is a serious safety concern.
“Students need to think about what they are doing and how their actions are affecting people,” Schneberger said. “What they are doing is vandalism, and it is not OK whatsoever.”
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