ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A recent TikTok challenge encouraging students to destroy and steal items from their schools is costing the Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s called the “Devious Lick” challenge. Students record the vandalism and post it to social media.
Round Rock ISD says at one of its high schools, stink bombs in restrooms resulted in two schoolwide evacuations and mandatory gas line testing that cost the district $15,000.
“That doesn’t count the additional staff time and resources, and right now we’re not fully staffed with our maintenance and custodial crews. They are working so hard,” said Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, chief of public affairs and communications at RRISD.
Additionally, across RRISD’s secondary schools, school leaders say more than 100 restroom soap and paper towel dispensers had to be replaced, and staff had to spend a “significant” amount of time cleaning and repairing vandalized items in restrooms.
RRISD isn’t the only local district that has experienced an uptick in students attempting the challenge. Lively Middle School in the Austin Independent School District says it had to close restrooms periodically for cleaning and repairs. Damage at that middle school was estimated to be about $2,500 back on Sept. 16.
In addition to Austin ISD, both the Leander Independent School District and the Hays Consolidated Independent School District have reported similar cases.
Earlier this month, the social media platform TikTok said it was removing videos related to “devious licks.”
Still, RRISD says it’s concerned for the next challenge: “slap a staff member.”
“That’s not just a practical joke. Hitting someone, hitting a public servant, is a criminal offense,” said LaCoste-Caputo.
The district says posts on social media point to this being the trend in October.
“We are asking our parents and guardians to please have conversations with your students (and encourage students to have conversations with their peers) about the disruptive nature of these challenges and the disciplinary consequences and potential criminal charges that could result,” the district said in a statement.
RRISD reminds students that slapping a district staffer, on any part of the body, is a criminal offense and considered assault.