Sonoma County school officials worried about viral TikTok challenges

12 October 2021

Three weeks into the school year, items began disappearing from bathrooms at Lawrence E. Jones Middle School.

Custodians and other staff discovered a series of missing soap dispensers, soap containers, paper towels and toilet paper, said Melissa Quinn, the school’s principal.

“Anything that sticks to the wall that could be removed was fair game,” Quinn said.

The missing items signaled the “devious licks,” a challenge on social media app TikTok, had spread to the school in southwest Santa Rosa, campus officials said. The challenge encourages youth to commit theft and vandalism and record and post their actions.

Nationwide, it’s resulted in arrests of students for theft of items such as paper towel dispensers and fire extinguishers, or vandalism to bathrooms or fire alarms.

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