High schools in Midtown and Buckhead are reporting that students are damaging school property due to a viral social media challenge.

Across the country, there’s been a challenge on TikTok called “devious licks” where students are stealing or damaging school property. Some of the videos reportedly got millions of views and show kids stealing items such as soap or paper towel dispensers.

Dr. Betsy Bockman, principal of Midtown High School, sent a note to parents and students.

“For example, we see soap and paper dispensers, sinks, hand dryers and other things destroyed,” Bockman said. “Students are intentionally flooding restrooms. There has also been an incredible amount of graffiti in the boys’ bathrooms as well … The amount of money and staff time expended to continually repair and replace fixtures and repaint walls and scrape tile is greater than I have ever seen in my 24 years of being a principal.”

Curtis Douglass, principal of North Atlanta High School in Buckhead, got on Facebook Wednesday to address the social media challenge.

“At North Atlanta, this has reared its head primarily in the student restrooms, specifically the boys’ restrooms,” Douglass wrote. “For example, we are having soap dispensers, sinks, hand dryers and other things destroyed. These actions violate the District Code of Conduct. We are not going to tolerate this behavior.”

Douglass, in the post, said the school would hand out harsh punishments to any student found destroying or stealing school property. The school also plans to monitor restrooms.

“We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities. We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”

Read a longer version of this story at Reporter Newspapers.

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.