Devious licks: A TikTok trend gone too far

The new viral TikTok trend known as the “Devious Licks” skyrocketed in September 2021. La Quinta High School was no exception. Did it go too far? Was it all just for 15 seconds of fame?

The new viral TikTok trend known as the “Devious Licks” skyrocketed in September 2021. La Quinta High School was no exception. Did it go too far? Was it all just for 15 seconds of fame?

Security at the high school explained that if students participated in the trend, consequences for students resulted in two Saturday schools and a behavior contract. Theft or vandalism went on students’ records. If caught again, it could lead to suspension or expulsion. 

Consequences may differ depending on how many times they have been caught participating in this trend as well as what was stolen or damaged. There was also discussion among LQHS staff about fining the parent or guardian.

The school sent out an email to students and families regarding the situation. Michael Magnera, one of the assistant principals at the high school, said they were trying to end this trend using public outreach, such as email to students and their parents or guardians. 

Travis Gerald

“We are trying to be as positive and proactive as possible,” Magnera said. “If you try to shame people, I think it continues the cycle of negative behavior.”

Many staff members thought it’s a silly trend and that students should be more mature. 

Claudia Ortiz, the security office tech said, “What’s the purpose of destroying your school? There’s no purpose.” 

Michael Schneider, the assistant principal whose responsibility is the school’s facilities, added his input as well. 

“I think social media is good for communication, but when it promotes vandalizing school property, I don’t think it’s appropriate,” he said.

 All of the staff has had the same opinion on the trend so far. However, opinions differed slightly with the students—with a concern geared toward the disrespect the vandalism implied.

April Barazza ‘22 said, “It’s messed up making the janitors work more than they do.” 

Tiffany Bailey
A student restroom that was vandalized due to the Devious Licks trend.

One of the high school’s former custodians, Bryan Salazar said that vandalism on school property essentially puts a bad look on the school.

Salazar said, “It’s more of a burden and it takes time from the classrooms, especially the cleaning of the outside.” 

Essentially, the TikTok trend asked even more of the custodial staff—especially in a pandemic—and caused time away from the cleaning of the classrooms. 

During that time, the west 1200 bottom restroom, especially the boys’ restrooms, had at least 10 soap dispensers that were ripped and thrown on the floor. Students also kicked and destroyed a toilet and threw a red liquid everywhere for an entire week. 

“It’s so dumb,” said a student who asked for anonymity. “Why would you want to destroy your school property? I went [to the restroom] and I couldn’t wash my hands.” 

A few months later, Dr. Oron Jackson, assistant principal of security and discipline said that the vandalism calmed down significantly. 

If his issue were to occur again, he said, they would react the same way about being proactive. When questioned further, he clarified to say they would focus on vigilance.

 “When we figured it out, we started to be vigilant and not so proactive,” Dr. Jackson said.

Tiffany Bailey
Posters to thank the custodial staff were placed around campus to thank them for their efforts in keeping campus clean during the Devious Licks vandalism on campus.

 He added that he doesn’t know if he could ever truly prevent it because social media’s influence can be pretty powerful: good and bad. 

“I’d also like to add, which I think is really important, is to seriously have some pride in your school,” Dr. Jackson said. “I would like to think [students] would have some pride in La Quinta High School and say, ‘This is my school and I’m not going to tear it up.”