LONGWOOD, Fla. - A new TikTok challenge is causing problems in Central Florida schools.
It’s called ‘devious licks’ and it challenges students to steal or vandalize items from school with the hopes of getting the most likes on the app.
Schools in Seminole County have started emailing parents to alert them of the trend.
"Pretty much all of our schools have experienced some sort of incident as a result of this," said Seminole County Public Schools Communication Officer Michael Lawrence.
Here's how the challenge works: Students steal or vandalize items from school and take pictures or a video to prove it. Then, they post on TikTok in order to get likes and followers.
Seminole County Public Schools says that the damages from the ‘devious licks’ challenge are adding up.
"Those are not cheap things to replace so some of those things depending on the severity of the incident could be very high-priced items," said Lawrence.
Most of the incidents are happening in the bathroom where there are no surveillance cameras. Students are taking soap dispensers, toilet paper holders, toilet seats, and even pipes. Sometimes going as far as destroying faucets or toilets.
"My son sent me a message yesterday saying, 'mom, I can’t go to the bathroom and I can’t wash my hands," said Katy Leach, whose three children attend Seminole County Schools.
Schools are warning parents of the consequences that could come from the challenge. Seminole County has suspended some students already. Expulsion or even criminal charges are not out of the question if things go too far. Parents may also be required to foot the bill to replace the damaged goods.
"These are big things that you think might be funny now or you think might just disappear but it won’t. The internet is forever," said Leach.
Some other counties like Orange and Brevard are seeing some instances of this but not as widespread as Seminole.
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If you see something like this happening, the school administration is encouraging students and parents to speak up and let someone know.
You can report anonymous tips through a hotline by calling 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).
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