Bathroom soap dispensers are the hottest collectibles for high schoolers right now.
Lakelands school districts are dealing with the newest social media challenge getting students in trouble all over the country and costing money for their schools.
The “devious licks” TikTok challenge involves students stealing from and vandalizing areas of their schools, often the bathroom.
“We do not have any soap dispensers or hand sanitizer things in a few of our bathrooms in the high school,” Rex Ward, superintendent of Greenwood County School District 52 in Ninety Six, said Tuesday. “I’m having to purchase more dispensers to put back up.”
“Devious licks” have taken place at Ninety Six High, Edgewood Middle and Ninety Six Elementary.
Ward said there have been parents calling and complaining about the lack of soap, and said the schools have placed hand sanitizer in the hallways.
“It’s hard to put in there when people tear down the dispensers, but we’re trying to put them back up.”
District 51 Superintendent Fay Sprouse said there have been three incidents at Ware Shoals High. Two in a male gang restroom where a hand dryer and sink were vandalized, and one in a classroom that saw a hand sanitizer dispenser vandalized.
“Disciplinary measures have been taken for the students who vandalized school property,” Sprouse said.
“Other preventative measures have been implemented, such as closing one of the male gang restrooms in the main building to ensure closer monitoring for the one gang restroom that remains open.”
Greenwood County School District 50 has had “a few incidents occur” in relation to the challenge, it said in a statement.
The district posted an update on social media about the trend, asking parents to monitor children’s social media accounts and “assisting our administrators and teachers in stopping this behavior.”
“Stealing and vandalism can have an immediate impact, including strong feelings of remorse once the rush of adrenaline wears off for students,” the statement from district Safety Officer Natalie Talbert says.
“Over time, guilt and worry about getting caught along with concerns about the possible damage to their reputation are some of the negative thoughts someone may experience after stealing or vandalizing.”
The district says students involved in the incidents that have taken place were charged by law enforcement and disciplined in accordance with the students rights and responsibilities.
“Our school administration and SROs will continue to remain proactive on a daily basis, District 50 said.
Mason Gary, superintendent at Abbeville County Public School District, said Tuesday the trend is “not an issue thus far.” McCormick County Superintendent Jaime Hembree said on Tuesday that schools in her district have not had any issues with vandalism from the TikTok challenge, either.