Social media trend ‘Devious Licks’ encourages student vandalism and theft, worrying Southern California school officials - Press-Enterprise

A recent social media trend that encourages students to vandalize or steal school property has prompted education leaders in recent days, including some in Southern California, to send out memos or warnings to staff and parents as they seek to minimize possible damage to their campuses.

The so-called Devious Licks challenge, which gained a recent foothold on the TikTok social media app, involves students posting videos that show off items they have stolen or damaged. Its name derives from the slang phrase “hit a lick,” which implies getting something of value quickly.

The trend, evident around the country, has affected Southern California schools to varying degrees.

Officials at some local districts, like Los Angeles Unified School District, say there haven’t been any reported incidents, but have alerted school administrators to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Others have reported vandalized property at multiple campuses within their district.

At the Murrieta Valley Unified School District in the Inland Empire, which boasts more than 20,000 students, school officials sent out a memo to parents this week that said middle and high schools have had “soap dispensers, fixed signage, a computer monitor, and hand sanitizer stations torn out of walls causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.”

Officials said they would increase surveillance on campus and review camera footage. For students found stealing, vandalizing or in possession of stolen property, the district...

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