TikTok trend sparks vandalism in the new high school.

By Antonia Campbell, ’22.

Over the past few years, a common goal among many teens has been to become TikTok famous. TikTok users tend to post the most entertaining and shocking videos they can to go viral on the app. But recently, the trends that have caused fame have been more harmful than anticipated.

The “devious lick” trend has been huge on TikTok over the past few weeks. The trend includes posting videos of yourself stealing school property and damaging school restrooms and classrooms. Many students from all around the country have participated in this trend, destroying school property in the process. Students at UAHS are no exception.

Students at the high school have been taking advantage of the privacy that the new, all-gender restrooms provide. They make vandalism easier to act on and easier to get away with. 

“Most of it we’ve seen in the restrooms. We’ve seen it in places where people can be secluded,” Principal Andrew Theado said. “The vast majority of students are amazing and doing the right things and we recognize that. We just want to make sure that we put a stop to [the vandalism].”

Teachers, students, administrators and other members of the UAHS community are disheartened by the recent trend.

“It’s disappointing because it’s a brand new, beautiful building, but it’s expected, because you have kids who think it’s funny, and then of course there’s the TikTok craze now which is kind of crazy because you record the vandalism and that’s how you get caught,” custodian Scott Moon said.

Until teachers and students recieve special tape for the walls, they are not allowed to hang art on the walls of the new building, which could leave students feeling artistically trapped. 

“It is not okay to vandalize the building. If some folks want to open space somewhere, we can put a white board and if people want to draw and create images like we had in our Learning Center with the chalk, we can do that,” Theado said. “If there is something that is not being offered to the student body that we need, talk to your class officers and maybe we can get something in place. But it is not appropriate to vandalize the restrooms or any part of this building.” 

The administration is attempting to put a stop to the vandalism as soon as possible.

“We are working with our custodial maintenance teams to get it cleaned, [and] we are working with our new camera system and with some students who have come forward and shared information. We’ve been able to catch some of the students, but we’re still looking for more folks who have been doing this,” Theado said.

Students are encouraged to come forward and tell a teacher or administrator if they witness vandalism or stealing taking place. 

“I think they have to utilize the cameras but more importantly the kids that know. If you know something, now you have devices in place so that you can do stuff anonymously, so you need to speak up and take ownership of your school,” Moon said.

To people who have already vandalized, science teacher Jordan Walker encourages them to reflect. 

“Learn from it, grow from it and try to realize why it maybe wasn’t the best choice,” she said. “If you’re just wanting to make waves, there are other ways to make waves that are more positive than this.”