NJ Schools Warn Kids Against a Year of “Devious Licks”
School districts in New Jersey are issuing new warnings about the "Devious Licks" challenge.
The TokTok challenge has resulted in significant damage to school bathrooms and prompted the social media platform to ban searches for the content. It hasn't stopped the viral videos from being created, however.
And there does not appear to be an end in sight. Lists of new challenges have been circulation on other social media platforms.
October is supposedly "smack a staff member" month. To be followed by "kiss your friend's girlfriend at school" in November and then "deck the halls and show your b****" in December. (use your imagination)
In an effort to head off any shenanigans, two South Jersey school districts have sent letters to parents and students warning them not to try it.
Gloucester Township Public Schools Superintendent John Bilodeau urged parents to talk to their kids about not engaging in this type of behavior. "It is important that our students understand any participation in these actions will not be tolerated in school nor by law enforcement," Bilodeau warned.
Negative behaviors such as theft, vandalism, and assault will not be tolerated in our schools and is placing undue stress on our students and school staff who work diligently to ensure our buildings are clean and safe. It is important that our students understand any participation in these actions will not be tolerated in school nor by law enforcement. We will do our part, throughout our schools, to clearly communicate to all students that these actions will have immediate and potentially long-term ramifications. - Gloucester Township Public Schools Superintendent John Bilodeau
Winslow Township parents got a similar letter, but Superintendent H. Major Poteat also warned, "This letter will serve as the only warning for this unacceptable behavior."
Behavior associated with these challenges, often called Devious Licks, will not be tolerated in the Winslow Township School District. Please discuss with your child the danger and serious consequences of participating in these challenges. This letter will serve as the only warning for this unacceptable behavior. - H. Major Poteat, Winslow Township Schools Superintendent
TikTok says it is aware of the dangerous and often destructive behavior of the "devious licks" challenge, and has been trying to exclude such content. However, a quick search of the #licks found dozens of videos that had not been taken down as of this morning.
It's not clear how many New Jersey schools have been affected by these pranks. In Haledon, the boy's bathroom was vandalized in the K-8 school with $400 in damage done to the plumbing. Superintendent Christopher Wacha said at the time he thought it was connected to "devious licks."