Dr. Kathy Rollo, the Superintendent of Lubbock ISD, sent an email to their students' parents on September 16th, 2021, asking for their help to stop criminal behavior among students influenced by the ‘devious licks’ challenge.

This challenge started on TikTok in early September when user @jugg4elias posted a video showing off the disposable masks he had supposedly stolen from his school. This turned into a trend of students stealing things from their schools, primarily soap and paper towel dispensers from the school's bathrooms, and then showing them off in videos on the video sharing platform.

TikTok has recently banned videos of the challenge from their site. “We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities," said a TikTok spokesperson.

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Of course, Lubbock is not immune to the influence of trends like these, so students started participating in the challenge here in the Hub City. I'm not aware of any specific instances of theft or vandalization, but in Dr. Rollo's email, she claimed that the district has observed the challenge impacting their middle and high schools.

They're asking that parents sit down with their children and discuss how to stay safe on social media. "Although TikTok has now taken action to remove the videos, please talk to your child about being socially responsible and kind; this 'challenge' is criminal behavior, not an innocent prank," said Dr. Rollo.

Young people are highly influenced by what they see online, so it's vital that parents step up and educate their children on the bad things that can come from social media, like this trend.

Dr. Rollo also stated how they will be handling these criminal acts if they continue in their schools: “There will be consequences for students who choose to engage in this behavior, including the involvement of law enforcement.”

Social media can be a great form of entertainment and be a positive part of kids’ lives, but not when it comes to ‘challenges’ like this one. It is a parent’s responsibility to educate their children to ensure they can navigate the online world in a safe manner.

Here are some additional resources provided by Dr. Rollo and the Lubbock ISD:

More information on the Devious Lick Challenge

Parents’ Ultimate Guide to TikTok

Social Media FAQs for Parents

National PTA TikTok Guide for Parents

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