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Opinion: Why the TikTok Devious Licks Trend is Happening

TikTok, a growing social media platform, has currently become a foundation for yet another nationwide, now worldwide, trend. The trend itself entails a student, or students, stealing some form of school property. Items that have been stolen vary from a box of disposable masks to entire toilets from student bathrooms. 

This trend initially started or received notice at the beginning of September when a TikTok user posted a video of himself stealing a box of disposable masks from his school. The caption of this TikTok was, “a month into school absolute devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask from home” (The Topeka Capital-Journal). This then sparked a chain reaction transforming this trend into one of the most popular trends in existence. 

Looking into the minds of those participating in the trend, it is clear that a decision to participate stems from the need to fit in. Posting a “devious lick” immediately tricks the brain into believing that one is part of a group or a trend in society. This need to fit in is fueled by the hatred in society and the obsession with popularity. Much like fashion trends in school, the more one participates or appeals to others, the cooler one seems. While this is speculation, it is the most likely reason for any person to feel the need to vandalize or steal from a school.

Repercussions of this trend extend farther than those the student might face if they were to be caught. While a student may face consequences such as detentions, suspension, or even expulsion, depending on the severity, the effect of this trend on schools far outweighs anything else. Schools, especially public schools, already face severe budget cuts and have limited supplies as is. With the introduction of this trend, this problem only grows. Failure to replace certain necessities such as toilet paper and soap affects the school as a whole.  

Currently, at Mira Loma High School, certain bathrooms have been closed, mirrors in the Science building (the H Wing) have been removed and walls have been vandalized. As the trend continues to spread across the world, more attention via news outlets increases, thus feeding the continuous growth of the trend. 

TikTok, the Chinese-owned company, has recently been attempting to regulate such posts. TikTok’s account, TikTokComms, stated, “We expect our community to create responsibly- online and IRL. We’re removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our community guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools and teachers.” 

Regardless of the consequences and the various preventive measures taken, the situation has continued to grow out of control, harming schools, staff, and students, all for the need to be a part of a “cool” trend.

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