Just last week, in the middle of dinner, my oldest daughter, who is in 8th grade, asked me if I knew what a “devious lick” was.
I immediately looked at my husband with wide eyes, as if to subliminally ask him “what fresh hot junior high garbage are we about to learn about now??!”
Then she explains: “A ‘devious lick’ is a HUGE trend right now, I think its from Tik Tok, where you steal or break something from the school or the classroom and you record yourself doing it and post it to social media with the hashtag #DeviousLick. Our principal talked to us about it and said we could be suspended or expelled if we are caught! People have been breaking the soap dispensers in our bathrooms! Isn’t that crazy?!”
“Breaking soap dispensers during a pandemic? They sound like geniuses. I know I don’t even have to say this, but if I find out you are doing anything like that heaven help you. Destroying property or stealing are things that can land you in jail.”
I’m silently thankful that we have such an open relationship with our daughter that she comes to us with these things. Otherwise, I’d have had no idea!
So, I took to my personal Facebook page to ask my friends what they know about “devious licks.” The post had several answers, but this is one of the most startling responses I never expected:
“… At my daughter’s school, someone spilled the soap all over the floor and then filled the soap dispenser with URINE; stole the toilet seats; smeared ketchup all over the bathroom. How do they have time to do this? I didn’t have time to go to my locker, use the restroom and get to my next class when I was in middle school.”
Wait. I remember senior pranks way back in the 90’s and 2000’s. For the most part they were harmless. I remember hearing through the grapevine about people doing goofy things like releasing chickens or mice, or “forking” the football field at their school. Occasionally someone would do something really bad but there was no social media to blast it over. It was just word of mouth. And there was no one glorifying it or egging anyone on. It was just a few knuckleheads trying to see what they could get away with.
But this? This is different. This is social media.
Anyone can become Insta-famous if you do something dumb enough. Kids dream about becoming famous on Instagram or Tik Tok overnight!
A few months ago, some kid decided to steal a box of disposable masks and posted a video of it on Tik Tok, calling it a “devious lick.” The rest is, unfortunately, history.
I’m “I need Urban Dictionary to explain things to me” years old. So here it is. Urban Dictionary’s definition of Devious Lick: To steal something in a devious way. Clever name he came up with, but that’s where the good things end. This trend is evolving daily, now including things like totally destroying the school bathrooms altogether, stealing expensive classroom equipment like microscopes, and unbelievably, hitting teachers.
Destruction of property, vandalism, theft, assault. All criminal charges.
This is a slap in every teacher’s face.
And that is a fact. Teachers have spent the last two years suspended in mid-air, creating lesson plans weeks ahead of time, dealing with Covid in their classrooms, trying to keep up with who is quarantined when and make up work for months on end. This is the last thing they should have to worry about.
I think we can all agree that anyone who is a teacher does it because it’s their passion and not for the money. Teachers deserve a raise across the board. But, until that day, they have to use their own money to buy their classroom supplies. Things that they paid for, like staplers, Chromebooks, cell phones are walking away. UNREAL.
Students are wearing masks at school, which makes them dang near impossible to identify, and seriously complicating the issue further.
The next wave – hitting their teachers – really blows my mind. So not only do these teachers have a list a mile long of things to do and worry about, but now they have to be on the look out for a student trying to sucker punch them.
We HAVE to do better.
Our generation has been through too much to have our children end up with criminal charges before they even turn 18, by doing something so asinine at school. And respect, for crying out loud. We have to teach our children to respect other people and their property.
Talk to your children. CHECK THEIR PHONES. Look at their social media pages. Take the five minutes out of your day to make sure they know how serious this “trend” is, and how they could literally destroy their own dreams and aspirations in an instant, just in hopes of going viral.