Devious Licks

Regan Byrnes and Allie Crawford

Recently, a trend on TikTok emerged called “Devious Licks,” in which students post videos of themselves vandalizing and stealing school property. Some students may find this trend humorous and enjoyable to watch, but the innocence fades when it happens at your own school.

Blue Valley has witnessed this trend taking place with property being stolen and damaged. Both staff and students have strong opinions on the matter.

Parker Neal

Senior class president Parker Neal said she is astounded by the Devious Licks trend and the childish behavior coming from it.

“I think the trend, in general, is just very immature and pointless,” Neal said. “It honestly kind of disappoints me because I was super excited to finally come back to school and get [some sense of] normalcy.”

Even though Neal has an idea of what caused this trend to gain popularity, it doesn’t change the fact that she feels disappointed in her fellow peers and her school.

“A lot of trends on TikTok start because one person does something dumb and then it goes viral,” Neal said. “A lot of people’s goals on the app is to try to portray [to be] funny [or] look like they’re funny, or they want to get famous or go viral. I have a feeling it was just a domino effect.”

While Neal is bewildered by this trend, she believes most of the students are taking this issue seriously and are ashamed that it is happening within their school.

Photo courtesy of Parker Neal

“I can’t speak for everyone, but I know [the] people I’ve talked to about it, and the [majority of] people in my grade are taking it seriously,” Neal said. “Obviously, no one wants to get in trouble with the school.”

Neal is concerned for the future of the school regarding how rules might change and how it will run in the future.

“It’s affecting me because I’m worried that our bathrooms are going to start to close down,” Neal said. “I know the one in the new addition has already been locked a few times, and that’s just an inconvenience to students that they have to travel all across the entire school and wait [in] a long line for one single bathroom that’s open.”

Neal said she is mainly worried about the possibility of losing the privileges not being able to have as much freedom in the future.

“My main and biggest concern is Tiger Paws, because that was already on thin ice,” Neal said. “Before this trend even started, because people have been leaving trash, and have been walking around with no masks on after they’re done eating, and I know that has caused lots of concern and Mr. Bacon already had to fight for us to even have it on one day a week in the first place.”

Neal is irritated by the trend and hopes that it will die out soon because she doesn’t want the privileges and freedom in BV to be revoked.

“People need to step up as leaders, like upperclassmen,” she said. “Seniors [and] juniors [need] to step up and can’t be doing stuff like that, we have a lot of privileges this year. Finally, coming back in person and I don’t want to get things like Tiger Paws and Academic Support Time taken away. I feel like we just need to recognize the privileges we have and come together as a school and step up above that.”

Eiaad Nomaan

Senior class vice president Eiaad Nomaan is extremely surprised by the Devious Licks trend taking place at BV.

“​​I remember hearing [Mr. Bacon] on the intercom and I just started laughing — I was like ‘This is not real, this is a joke,’” Nomaan said. “It really shocked me that students took it that far because I’m a senior now, and in all my years being here, nothing like that has ever happened.”

Photo courtesy of Eiaad Nomaan

Not only is Nomaan surprised by these acts of vandalism, but he is also disappointed in fellow classmates.

“I don’t think a lot of

seniors or upperclassmen are prone to do that stuff,” he said. “I love it here and I would never do that to my own school. I think people who haven’t really gotten fully comfortable here think it’s a joke.”

 

 

Nomaan believes underclassmen may be continuing these acts of vandalism because they haven’t gotten used to the atmosphere at BV and haven’t realized their seemingly harmless actions create problems for everyone.

“I know when I was an underclassman, I thought a lot differently than I do now,” he said. “I think people think that they’re being funny, but it’s really not funny because it’s gotten to the point where it’s affecting everyone else.”

The school is taking measures to stop this disrespectful behavior and to monitor parts prone to more vandalism. Unfortunately, this means lost privileges for the students.

“[The boy’s] bathroom in our new addition is already closed for who knows how long,” he said. “The more we [damage] our school, the more we’re going to have taken away from us.”

Nomaan hopes students can realize how important it is to take care of our school and respect property.

​​”I don’t think [students] realize what a privilege it is to have [advantages] until they’re taken away,” he said. “We shouldn’t have to wait until we get them taken away, we should start taking care of them first because not having them sucks.”

 

Kimberly Thompson

Social Studies teacher Kimberly Thompson believes the Devious Licks trend and vandalism around the school is disrespectful and completely uncalled for.

Allie Crawford

“I don’t think any pranks that cause damage or more work for anybody are very funny,” Thompson said. “It just seems to be a disregard for people’s comfort and safety.”

Why students are damaging the school and stealing items is a mystery for the most part, but Thompson has her own theories.

“Honestly, [school] can be boring sometimes. I think that’s what [students] were trying to do — maybe make school less boring,” she said. “Now it sucks because you have to walk forever to find a bathroom.”

With wearing masks, dress codes, getting to class on time, and staying on schedule, Thompson thinks students don’t feel like they have any control and need a way to be seen.

“There’s all these rules and this, to me, seems like a way for young people to act out against that feeling of oppression — that’s my guess,” she said. “Eventually stuff is gonna catch up with folks, I don’t know if anyone finds it funny, so much as they want to see what they can get away with.”

Unfortunately, students’ goals of being seen will not turn out well for them. Many are continuing the trend because it’s difficult to have consequences, unless everyone suffers them, such as bathrooms being closed. Not only are these actions affecting students, but they are also affecting the staff.

“It has definitely frustrated custodial staff and administration, which sucks because our custodial staff is pretty amazing to clean up after all these students without complaint,” she said. “They’re here to keep this place safe and tidy. To throw that back in their face? I find that to be pretty heinous.”

The staff is doing everything they can to get this issue under control and create a safe and happy atmosphere.

“I think [the staff is] trying to limit access to areas that can’t be supervised as well,” she said. “Really we’re trying to build a culture here more than anything. You’re here for approximately four years — be a part of the team.”

Scott Bacon

Principal Scott Bacon said he is completely against the Devious Licks trend and what it has done to the school.

“​​I’ve seen soap dispensers [and] paper towel dispensers removed from the wall, paper towel bundles [and] soap containers stuffed in a toilet that plugs up the toilet,” Bacon said. “I’m thankful and grateful I haven’t seen more than that, but I’m very disappointed I’ve seen that.”

Bacon is at odds for what has caused this trend to occur and spread throughout the district.

“I think somebody is competing for attention and trying to come up with what they think is a novel idea that quickly runs rampant,” he said.

Allie Crawford

 

Though Bacon believes most students are taking this property damage seriously, he thinks a select few find this trend funny somehow and draw humor from it.

“A lot of our students are embarrassed and aggravated by it,” Bacon said. “There are a few students who think it’s funny. But I would argue that they’re not thinking very far outside themselves.”

Bacon has a few theories of what caused these careless actions from students returning back in person.

“The argument could be made that we have some students who don’t know how to act or behave in school,” he said. “I don’t know [if] that’s the case, but certainly behavior like that would indicate that that might be the case. I think our whole country [is] a little bit on edge right now, and I think it’s probably attention-seeking behavior [and] ill advised, for sure.”

As the situation continues Bacon said it will affect how the school will run in the future and how guidelines within the school become more strict.

“Unfortunately because of the behavior of a few, that could impact the behavior of many. It could take that freedom of choice away,” Bacon said.

Bacon went as far to say that Tiger Paws privileges could potentially be taken away due reckless behavior of students.

“I know a couple of our sister schools have already suspended Tiger Paws because of some of the unfortunate incidents that have been occurring — I busted my tail to get it and to keep it,” Bacon said. “I hope our students join me in that because I want us to keep it. I don’t want us to lose it. If we have many more incidents, we’re at risk of losing it.”

At the moment, Bacon is discussing with other principals at our sister schools and the district itself of how to solve this problem.

“I tried to go directly to our students [and] say, ‘Hey this is an issue, [I] don’t want it to get any worse,’” Bacon said.

Bacon said if this horrible trend continues, the district will be forced to go to drastic measures.

“Some school districts have filed charges against students who have vandalized [the school],” Bacon said. “[This] can be a legal issue. It’s certainly a school consequences issue, and we’ve had to do some of that already.”