#DeviousLicks sweeps the school, causing destruction in bathrooms


Pictures via TikTok

Three bathrooms were vandalized on Monday, Sept.13 as part of the recent TikTok “Devious Lick” challenge. The escalating damage has prompted administration to close several bathrooms and place new restrictions on items students can bring into the restrooms. 

The trend has created a wave of student theft across the nation. Principal Amy Boughton said at Hebron, the theft has primarily focused on soap dispensers, which cost $250 each. 

“We have seen mostly soap dispensers pulled off the wall,” Boughton said. “They’re screwed into [the wall], so [students] have to pull really hard. This causes damage to our facilities. In some cases, people are using the bathroom stalls as leverage, and we have had damage to the actual stall doors. All of this has cost us about $2,000.”

The students responsible will pay for the damages and labor associated with restitution. All students involved were suspended. 

“The students that have been caught [were] ticketed by [school resource officer] David Lee right away,” Boughton said. “We also gave out-of-school suspensions to the students involved.”

Administration has taken extra precautions to prevent further vandalism by creating new rules and stressing the old ones. Currently, five bathrooms are closed with the exception of one bathroom that is open only during lunch. 

“We have personnel watching cameras — specifically at the bathrooms and during passing periods — to keep the campus safe,” assistant principal Rachel Flanders said. “We are requesting students not bring items such as backpacks and cell phones into the bathrooms. We also require students to wear their ID at all times. I know it’s not our whole student body, but the repeated incidents have cost our campus.” 

The costs have not just been monetary. These incidents have added extra work for the custodial staff which is currently understaffed due to the pandemic. 

“Obviously, I don’t like anything broken, but what bothers me the most is the extra work on our already reduced custodial staff,” Boughton said. “I feel really bad for them. We have also had multiple urinals flooded. When [students] fill up our urinals with paper towels, it’s our custodial staff that has to pull that out. They can’t clean a classroom or wipe the floors because they have to reinstall things that were already put in months ago.” 

Last year, LISD started several renovation projects that would be funded as part of the $737.55 million bond package approved in 2017. Hebron has undergone extensive construction, including the remodeling of the bathrooms. 

“This trend makes me feel very heartbroken knowing the amount of time, effort and money put into those renovations,” Flanders said. “All of the vandalized items are completely brand new. It makes me sad to see the nice new tiles and stalls having to be repaired. As of right now, many of the items that have been vandalized are not in stock, so replacing them has been very difficult.” 

For many students, the new constraints over bathrooms have caused confusion and concern. 

“I have been at this school for four years, excluding last year when I was virtual,” senior Vidhi Pujara said. “I did not like the old bathrooms at all, and I was very happy this year because all the bathrooms were clean and modern. The new restrictions are an inconvenience because I don’t know which bathrooms are open, but I can empathize with the staff because this trend is very immature.” 

To mitigate this problem, more staff members are monitoring the campus, and the school has been pulling custodial staff from other campuses. 

“We are definitely looking at changing duties for the assistant principals, teachers and myself, so we can better [monitor] the bathrooms,” Boughton said. “I want [students] to have pride in the school. If [students] enjoy walking into the school and seeing the new arena and all the other renovations, we have to have respect for the physical space. It’s a legacy you leave for years to come.”