Coronado schools have fallen victim to the national TikTok trend of “Devious Licks” that challenges students to post videos of stealing and vandalizing school property. According to the Urban dictionary a “lick” is a successful type of theft. The recent “licks” target soap dispensers, fire extinguishers, lab microscopes, signs, toilets, mirrors, and other school property that are costly and time consuming to replace or repair.
Both Coronado High School (CHS) and Coronado Middle School (CMS) experienced destructive “devious licks” in recent weeks. While videos of the “licks” are posted on social media, the names and identities of the students involved are not always clear. However, students could face legal punishment for their involvement in destructive “licks”.
The devious licks at Coronado Middle School included removing soap dispensers from the wall and stealing food. An unnamed CMS student shared their experience with devious licks, “Students thought it was funny to steal pop tarts from the cafeteria.” Multiple students were given detention for their involvement.
CHS Principal Karin Mellina directly addressed the concerning trend in a letter to parents stating, “Our buildings are meant to be safe, clean spaces for our students and staff and we will not tolerate the destruction and theft of school property.” Principal Mellina asked for parents’ help preventing further damage,“We ask that you please speak with your student and remind them that this “challenge” is criminal behavior, not an innocent prank.”
The social media company TikTok responded to the negative trend by removing the #deviouslicks hashtag from their app as their guidelines do not allow content that “promotes or enables criminal activities.” Unfortunately, students quickly adjusted and similar hashtags sprung up with videos featuring destructive behavior. The trend has now spread beyond TikTok and can be found on other social media platforms such as YouTube.
Social media trends can pass quickly. CUSD staff are hopeful students lose interest in “devious licks,” so they can return to a respectful school environment.