A TikTok challenge called “Devious Licks” that has circulated world-wide, has been tied to vandalism of school bathrooms at each of the secondary schools across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
All six of the high schools across the school district have been impacted to some extent, said Irena Pochop with School District 42, although, she added, the damage was minor.
The challenge had students in Canada and the United States stealing soap and hand sanitizer dispensers, breaking mirrors, and even stealing a bathroom sink – and sharing videos of the vandalism on the social media app.
Pochop said the district became aware of the TikTok challenge early last week, and informed their secondary school administrators right away.
“Cautioning extra vigilance,” she said.
“Since then, we have received a number of reports of minor vandalism targeting secondary school washrooms.”
The vandalism at local schools included spilled red Kool-Aid, as well as a limited number of damaged soap and towel dispensers.
Secondary schools addressed the TikTok challenge with their students through classroom visits and Grade-specific assemblies.
“We know that the vast majority of our students exercise good judgment and make positive choices,” noted Pochop. However, she wanted to remind the few who might contemplate vandalizing their school that the destruction and/or theft of school property is a serious offence that can have significant consequences.
The district has not yet tabulated the amount of damaged items at each school and is working on an estimate cost for repairs.
Pochop did say a soap dispenser usually costs between $50 to $60 to replace.
A search for “Devious Licks” on the TikTok platform on Monday, Sept. 20, produced a message saying “No results found”.
“This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok’s top priority,” read the message, inviting users of the platform to review their community guidelines.
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