Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) warned students about a new TikTok trend that they say results in damaged and stolen school property.
As a response of this trend, TUSD is increasing surveillance of their campuses and is currently reviewing camera footage.
According to a phone call sent out to parents, a “Devious Licks” challenge on the social media platform TikTok encourages students to steal or destroy school property and then post a picture or video of the item as a trophy.
“This is a very serious offense and if a student is found stealing, in possession of stolen property or damaging school property, disciplinary action will be taken. Please speak with your student about the serious consequences of participating in this trend. Thank you,” the call said.
According to a post on TUSD’s Facebook page, if a student is found stealing, in possession of stolen property, or damaging school property, including personal belongings or property of others, the district will: Take the appropriate disciplinary action, refer cases to the Turlock Police Department (Per Penal Code 484, stolen property valued at $950 or more is a felony), remove the student’s privileges for the remainder of the school year, including participation in athletics or other extracurricular activities, attending athletic games, dances and graduation activities and seek reimbursement for the stolen and damaged items from the student or their family.
“We have attractive facilities in our District, many newly renovated with your tax dollars, and hard-working staff who take pride in keeping them well-maintained for students, staff and the community’s benefit,” the post stated.
The damages vary from graffiti to plugging toilets and drains (which resulted in some restrooms having to be shut down for a day or two for cleaning and repairs) to physically damaging facilities, according to Assistant Superintendent Barney Gordon. The costs of the damages are currently unknown.
“Costs vary depending on the damages to the facilities. We are tracking material and labor costs to address this and, where appropriate, will be working through the appropriate authorities for reparations from students and/or families, when possible,” said Gordon.
The District encouraged parents to monitor students’ social media activity to make sure they are not following the destructive trend.
“These types of challenges tend to involve risky behaviors of which students do not typically realize the serious consequences of or threat to the safety of our schools and community until it’s too late,” the Facebook post said.