TikTok trend "Devious Licks" hits Wellington High School; 3 juvenile suspects linked to vandalism

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wellington USD 353 has approved a mask mandate for schools in district

According to the Wellington Police Department, there are three juvenile suspects involved in the vandalism inside Wellington High School.

The vandalism comes from doing a viral trend on TikTok, a social media platform. This trend is called "Devious Licks" and it encourages students to damage school property.

In this case, WHS had a total of six soap dispensers destroyed. The dispensers were scattered throughout the school bathrooms, which is a total value of $120. 

The trend has been growing with popularity where students have stolen fire extinguishers, ripped out bathroom toilets, destroyed soap dispensers, ripped bathroom sinks from the ball, and much more damage to school property.

Wellington Adam Hatfield issued a letter to Unified School District 353 parents about the situation. 

“We are beginning to see trends that are perpetuated by social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.  Most recently, there was a social media challenge nationwide encouraging students to vandalize their school bathrooms and/or steal items from their classrooms. Students film themselves engaging in these acts and post them to various sites. Because of this viral trend, we have had incidents of theft and vandalism happening in the district. We are also aware that there are other challenges approaching in future months, some including assaulting  school employees.

Superintendent Hatfield continues on to say: 

“Please keep in mind that the state statute on battery in the State of Kansas includes causing physical contact to another in a rude, insulting or angry manner. No physical injury or bodily harm is required. If the victim is a school employee, it is classified as a Class A Person Misdemeanor. If committed by an adult, it carries up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $2500. Our buildings are meant to be a safe, clean space for our students and staff. There will be consequences for students who choose to engage in this behavior, and can include the involvement of law enforcement. We appreciate your support and encourage you to discuss your child’s social media accounts and the adverse effects of peer pressure that can be promoted by these platforms.”

The investigation is still ongoing for the juveniles linked to the vandalism.

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.