The trend started after TikTok user @jugg4elias posted a video of himself pulling a box of disposable masks out of his backpack with the caption, "A month into school absolutely devious lick. Should've brought a mask," according to meme database Know Your Meme. That video received roughly 239,000 views in a week, Know Your Meme reported.
Days after @jugg4elias posted his video, another user, @dtx.2cent, posted a video showing that he had allegedly stolen a hand sanitizer dispenser, according to Know Your Meme. That video reportedly earned 7.2 million views.
Bathroom toilets, soap dispensers, science lab microscopes, parking signs and desks have disappeared or been damaged.
A San Antonio-area school shared photos of shattered mirrors and dislodged soap dispensers in the bathroom, while a Southern California school said paper towel dispensers and fire alarms had gone missing. At one eastern Michigan high school, the principal reported that the trend had devolved beyond swiping trophies for social media clout and into “malicious vandalism,” like intentionally clogged toilets.
On Sept. 16, School Resource Officers (SRO) from Bartow High School in Polk County School District, were alerted to damage to a boys’ restroom on school campus, according to a press release from the Bartow Police Department (BPD).
Two soap dispensers, valued at $45 each, had been removed from the wall with one dispenser found in a restroom sink. The other was missing.
"During the course of their investigation, they did locate the suspect and arrested him for Criminal Mischief and Theft," the BPD said. "The suspect noted he did the damage to look 'cool' and take part in the social media trend. A video of him with the stolen property was located."
“It’s all for likes and what they feel is popularity online; they want to be famous,” said Laudani, the Florida principal who has been an educator for nearly 30 years. “It’s not even like the old saying of ’15 minutes of fame,’ it’s more like 30 seconds.”
TikTok announced Wednesday that it will remove videos associated with the trend and redirect related hashtags. Video results using the hashtag deviouslicks have been removed by TikTok.