#deviouslicks: A Grievous Trend with Serious Consequences 


Zoe Caeton, Staff Writer

On September 1st, 2021, TikTok user @jugg4elias posted a clip of himself pulling a box of disposable masks from his backpack. The caption read, “a month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask from home.” The video received over 239,000 views in a week.[1] The user did not seem to know that this simple video would spark an incredibly damaging trend. 

 A few days later, mimics started popping up. The first known mimic flaunted his loot of a hand sanitizer dispenser.[2] This video set a precedent for future “licks,” making students aim to steal bigger and better things from their high schools and colleges. Schools all over the country have been affected, including our school. A sink, at least one soap dispenser, a ceiling tile, and countless other things have been stolen from campus. The trend seems to be mainly affecting restrooms. It has had detrimental effects on everyday life at school. 


One of the ways school administration has tried to combat it is by locking the restrooms for the first and last 15 minutes of class. This can disadvantage students who may need the restroom more often or less quickly, including our disabled and female students. If a student has an emergency that needs to be addressed, they cannot go to the restroom when needed. Because class periods are 61 minutes long and we have 30 minutes total taken away from potential restroom time, that leaves us with only 31 minutes. Since most teachers allow one student out at a time, there may not be enough time for everyone to do what they need to. If this happens, students either must wait in the long lines for the restroom during passing periods, and risk being late for class, or wait 15 more minutes until the restrooms are unlocked. 


Edison administration has begun to press charges against any students caught vandalizing or stealing. In an announcement made Friday, September 17, one of our vice principals pled with students to stop vandalizing our restrooms and threatened legal action against those caught. In other schools, students have been given vandalism and theft charges and have been left to deal with the monetary costs for the damage.[3] Although the thought of internet fame and attention may be alluring, it is not worth paying fines and getting one or more misdemeanors. 


An assembly with staff who have had to work on this issue may help the problem. Having them talk with the students about their experience, as well as trying to get students to see their point of view might keep thieves and vandals at bay. If students can understand the damage they’re causing to staff and their peers, they may stop doing what they’re doing.  


Students who participate in this trend need to realize that “school” may be easy to view as a faceless and soulless entity that can fix any problem with ease, but it’s really just people like you and I trying to lead happy lives. The vandalism and theft lead to unnecessary stress, extra work, and takes from our already low funds. To those who are a part of this – I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of our staff. Think about how much distress and upset this would cause you if you had to deal with and attempt to fix this problem. The staff has to repair the damages, try to prevent the students doing this from continuing, deal with the backlash from parents and students, and so many other seemingly insignificant things that quickly add up. This may seem like a fun and harmless thing, but it is anything but.