Students and teachers frustrated by problematic TikTok challenges

Students and teachers frustrated by problematic TikTok challenges

In September, the Devious Lick viral challenge on TikTok caused problems for schools across the country, and Everett High was no exception.  

 Devious Lick (or Diabolical Lick) is a series where students steal, vandalize, and show off the stolen items from the school or bathroom. It was not unusual to see items being torn from the walls or just a mess being made in general in some of the school bathrooms.

“I think it’s really bad to vandalize the school property,” junior Swarnin Chaudhary said. “I think it should be stopped.”

Although some initially thought it was entertaining to watch and admire the things they stole, it has caused financial and ethical problems for schools. People could be charged and arrested.

“At first it was funny when it was just the little things,” freshman Daniela Portillo said. “But then kids started overdoing the trend and started stealing big things, which got annoying. I hated the trend. It impacted the high school because they’ve been stealing a lot of stuff. Now there’s teachers outside the bathrooms monitoring and only two students  at a time.”

“I think there’s a big difference between having fun and pulling some harmless pranks and some of the stuff that’s causing real damage,” English teacher Dana Oppedisano said. “I really hope Everett High School knows the difference between what can be a playful joke that can make you laugh for a few minutes and what can get you into serious trouble or cause emotional or physical  harm.”

“I’m disappointed in some of the physical vandalism that I’ve seen,” Oppedisano said. “Obviously if anyone  here is feeling any sort of anxiety or distress because of what’s happening then it needs to stop. I don’t know if you can police TikTok and shut it down or make it so that high schoolers can no longer post these kind of challenges, but school needs to be a safe place physically and mentally and if we can’t find a way to make students feel safe or make the building feel safer, then maybe TikTok or the government has to step in and make some restrictions”.

The challenge has gone so viral that social media platform TikTok had to delete any content related to stealing from school.

“I am disappointed in the fact that they are using social media as an outlet for the destruction,” social studies department chair Steven Venezia said. “I wish that it was more of an outlet for bringing people together.”

Just when the Devious Lick challenge seemed to be dying down, in October another harmful idea started circulating as well, challenging students

“Until this morning I thought it was stupid, but you know teenagers are teenagers” English teacher Kaitlin Nardi said. “Its a part of a normal process of growing up to make stupid mistakes, but then this morning one of my coworkers told me about the ‘slap a teacher challenge’ and that made me feel unsafe during lunch duty today. In the hallway I was actually a little bit scared so now I’m thinking its more serious then I realize.” 

“Its crazy and childish,” sophomore Jason Silenceieus said.

Luckily, it does not appear that many Everett High students even attempted that one, probably realizing how disrespectful it would be and how serious the legal trouble would be.

Hopefully this is the end of these things, and after a rocky transition back to in-person learning in multiple ways, we can all settle in for a better remainder of the year.