‘Devious Licks’ comes to Lakewood

School bathrooms have been vandalized, with boys’ restrooms hit the worst.



A trash can sits in the toilet of a staff bathroom.

MAYA RISH, SNN Staff Writer

A soap dispenser has been torn from a wall in one of the Lakewood bathrooms. (HANDOUT)

Since the beginning of September, a viral TikTok trend of vandalism and theft has taken the country by storm, and Lakewood is no exception. 

Here on campus, the boys’ bathrooms have been struck the hardest. Soap dispensers are missing. Trash cans and clothing have been thrown in toilets. Recently, one restroom was covered in toilet paper.

“A toilet tissue raid… I don’t what you’d call that. There’s just toilet tissue everywhere – as if you’re decorating someone for Halloween,” School Resource Officer Julie Battiest said. 

In one bathroom, principal Erin Savage said a pair of pants was found stuffed down in the toilet.

“We had to call a plumber,” she said. “… when we call a plumber, that costs us money. We have to replace hand sanitizer. We’re not going to dig it out of the toilet and put it back on the wall, we need to replace it.”

On Sept. 1, a TikTok user posted a video of themselves stealing a box of masks with this caption: “A month into school, absolutely devious lick.” Since then the vandalism trend has skyrocketed in popularity, causing many schools across the country to close bathrooms and institute surveillance methods to deter students from theft. 

“In Pasco County, the sheriff there, he’s arresting kids for it. If I find out, I’d love to arrest some kids… I definitely want to tack on some money to their accounts,” Savage said.  

If they catch the people responsible, she said, the cost of the damage will be on their school account, and their families will have to cover the costs. According to a report on WTSP-Ch. 10, three Polk County students have been arrested and charged with participating in the challenge.

To combat the incidents, the administration said it has been strategically closing off bathrooms in the school. 

“We only have some bathrooms open. Boys right now because that’s the major one. But we’ll close girls’ bathrooms, too. I’m hoping that eventually they’ll get tired of only using one bathroom, and they’ll do something different,” Savage said.

According to some Lakewood boys, the A-wing bathrooms have one mirror in total, no soap, one of the dividers between the urinals is gone, along with one of the new bathroom signs posted outside. The B- wing restrooms are in a similar state, and flood regularly. 

“They clog the sinks, they clog the drains on the floor, then leave the sinks on,” said junior Robert Scopel, who added that this has been going on longer than the “devious licks” trend.

“In middle school, it was like, why do all the bathrooms have drains in the floors? Oh, that’s why,” senior Conor Mahoney said.

Overall, however, the vandalism situation at Lakewood has been minimal, especially when compared to schools across the nation. The girls’ bathroom has experienced significantly less theft and chaos than the boys, with only one soap dispenser missing in the downstairs B- wing bathroom. 

“I was telling (my students) that I take pride in my school. … Once we find out who is vandalizing the school I’m going to inform whoever I need to,” PE and AVID teacher Tracy Teartt said.