Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent Jared Cordon is asking parents to take note of a new social media trend that’s asking students to vandalize schools and even assault teachers.

Students around the country have been influenced by a TikTok challenge called “devious licks.” The challenge asks students to take part a new type of destructive activity — often criminal activity — each month.

In September, the challenge was to vandalize their school bathrooms.

This month, the TikTok challenge has escalated to asking students to “smack a staff member.”

Upcoming challenges will reportedly involve activities that range from “jabbing a breast” to stealing eggs.

Just over a week into October, no Roseburg students have assaulted staff members, Cordon told The News-Review Friday. However, there have been some bathroom vandalism incidents.

The challenges initially were posted on TikTok under the hashtag #deviouslicks. “Lick” is a slang term for theft.

Some students around the country have committed crimes at school in response to the challenges. TikTok subsequently removed searches under that hashtag. However, kids found a way around that and searches using similar terms still lead to videos of school bathroom vandalism on the site.

A spokesperson for the Roseburg Public Schools District said Roseburg High School has had a handful of incidents involving damage to bathroom paper towel, soap and toilet paper dispensers.

School officials identified most of the culprits. One student was cited by police for criminal mischief. Some of the students were required to pay restitution to the school.

A few similar incidents were reported at Joseph Lane Middle School and at Fremont Middle School.

Roseburg High School Principal Jill Weber said in an email the majority of the school’s students have taken a stand against the behavior and have reported incidents to adults.

“They recognize that this behavior is unacceptable and that damage to school bathrooms means less access to necessary supplies such as items needed for good hand hygiene, which remains extremely important as the pandemic continues,” Weber said.

“I’m confident that this trend will fade away so that we can remain focused on the wonderful achievements our students are making every day in our school,” she said.

Cordon also said it’s important to remember that the vast majority of Roseburg students are not involved in “devious licks” behavior.

However, he said this is an opportunity for parents to think about how much social media their kids — and they themselves — are consuming and what effect it’s having on them.

It’s not uncommon, he said, for kids to spend five, six or seven hours a day on TikTok and other social media.

It’s not enough, he said, for adults to just blame trends like this on “kids these days.”

“As adults we need to say what can we do to help kids understand, and how do we be more proactive in helping kids understand there’s a better way,” he said.

Adults can help guide kids toward more productive ways to socialize, such as volunteering, and help them understand why behaviors like “smacking” a staff member aren’t OK.

“What we have to do is teach the why behind why we don’t do that. Well, because that’s called assault and you get arrested, that’s why,” he said.

Cordon said in general Roseburg schools try to work with students who do something wrong.

“My philosophy is we’re always looking for a change in behavior instead of a pound of flesh from a kid,” he said.

But with the “devious licks” challenges escalating to physical violence, the approach would be different.

“I have no tolerance for behavior that puts other kids or staff at risk, period. I don’t have a tolerance for that,” he said.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(1) comment

Wretched722

TikTok is from CHINA....get it?

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