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Central Texas school district locks restrooms, tells students to bring their own soap

Several schools report vandalism in the wake of “devious licks” Tik Tok challenge
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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MIDWAY, Texas (KWTX)-- School districts across Central Texas are reporting damages and stolen property caused by students attempting the “Devious Licks” challenge going viral on the Chinese social media app Tik Tok.

Students nationwide are reportedly stealing and removing soap and paper towel dispensers from their school bathrooms and posting videos of it on Tik Tok. In some instances, students have been reported as attempting to steal urinals and toilets.

Midway High School in the Waco area locked some of its school restroom after eight were vandalized. School resource officer Jeff Foley said that with fewer bathrooms open to students, staff can keep a closer eye on who goes in and out.

Foley said the district has also stopped replacing the soap and paper towel dispensers because they just get stolen the next day. It is asking students to bring their own handwashing materials to school.

“If they can’t respect the building and their school enough to take care of it then we are not going to continue to give them the soap. They can bring their sanitizer to school in their backpacks and wash their hands with that,” Officer Foley said.

Midway ISD has apprehended about six students involved in some of the vandalism attempts and are disciplining them through school disciplinary channels.

Temple ISD in Temple, Texas also experienced vandalism related to the trend. In a statement to News 10, the district said it has incurred about $800 worth of damage at four campuses: Temple High School, Bonham Middle School, Lamar Middle School and Travis Science Academy.

Belton High School also said it has experienced vandalism incidents at four campuses and school administrators are calling on parents to help put a stop to it.

“This type of behavior is not just a fun social media challenge — the district is actively seeking out those responsible and may pursue disciplinary or criminal charges if appropriate,” said Karen Rudolph, the district’s spokesperson.

Troy ISD also reported damage to its bathroom dispensers and even a broken toilet. The superintendent said students are also stealing items from classrooms as part of the challenge. Sunday, the principal at Raymond May’s Middle School sent out a letter to parents asking them to speak with their students about participating in these illegal activities.

Killeen ISD last week reported similar vandalism at a number of schools. The district’s spokeswoman, Taina Maya, said some of the soap dispensers have not been replaced as the soap dispenser companies are overwhelmed with requests considering school districts nationwide are having their soap dispensers stolen.

While many school districts are disciplining students who participate in the challenge through the schools, students may face legal punishment such as a fine that the parents may have to pay or even jail time.

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