MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Calif. (KTXL) — A social media trend has led to thousands of dollars worth of stolen items and vandalism in San Joaquin County.
The trend is called “devious lick” and Mountain House High School is alerting parents and students in order to put a stop to it.
The campus is just eight years old and school officials and parents are frustrated vandals are ripping it apart for social media likes.
“It’s so sad I just don’t understand why these children are turning to that kind of vandalism to express themselves,” concerned parent Summer Wolfe told FOX40.
“Within two weeks, this thing has gone viral worldwide. So, I did not, I did not like it,” said concerned parent Umar Muhammad.
Parents are upset some students have taken social media too far.
Mountain House High School has been a victim of a trend that has turned destructive on TikTok.
“The whole ‘devious licks’ TikTok trend that’s going on right now is that students steal things, and the bigger thing they steal the more likes they’ll get online,” explained Mountain House High School Principal Ben Fobert.
Fobert says, in addition to theft in the last week, the campus has also been vandalized as part of the trend.
“We’ve seen students ripping soap dispensers off of the walls and throwing them across the bathroom,” Fobert said. “We’ve also seen paper towel dispensers completely ripped off of the walls. Students have ripped off the dividers between urinals in the boy’s bathrooms.
He estimates vandals have caused at least a couple thousand dollars in damage and law enforcement is now investigating.
“I think it’s so sad and disturbing that our youth are finding vandalism as a way to try to get hype,” Wolfe said.
“It’s all about likes these days. It’s very disappointing. I think it needs to be handled very quickly and with an iron hand,” Muhammad said.
FOX40 tried to track down some of the TikTok videos by searching #deviouslicks but received a message that no results were found, and the phrase is associated with behavior or content that violated the app’s community guidelines.
“It’s happening. It’s becoming more rampant all in the name of a trend on social media to hopefully get likes,” Fobert said.
There are reports of “devious lick” activities hitting high school and middle school campuses from Antelope to Pleasanton.
“In Pleasanton, just yesterday, I heard that students took construction paint and put it all over the bathroom and concrete powder and put it in the toilets and caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage,” Fobert said.
He is asking parents and students for help to ensure to put an end to this trend.
“At least anonymously report the incidents when they happen and to show us where they are online and so that we can catch the culprits and hold them responsible,” Fobert said.
Authorities have already identified some of the vandals but they’re still looking for others who may be involved.