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TikTok trend results in closed bathrooms at Rhinelander High School

rhinelander_high_school.jpg
School District of Rhinelander
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This story was developed through a partnership with WXPR and local schools. Student Storytellers is an initiative to amplify youth voices.

All but one bathroom at Rhinelander High School were closed in September.

That’s because of the severe amount of theft and vandalism inspired by a TikTok trend called ‘Devious Licks.’

TikTok is the short-form video-sharing app that’s popular among high school and college students.

The trend ‘Devious Licks’ encourages students to break and steal school property.

It consists of students posting videos of themselves stealing toilets, breaking mirrors and trashing bathrooms.

“It’s frustrating to see students or people across the nation trying to promote theft and destroying property,” said Matthew Knott, the RHS dean of students.

The trend hasn’t exceeded the soap dispensers being stolen by RHS students.

But at other schools, the issue is much greater.

Police officer Brad Fogerty showed us a list of different “tricks” that TikTok users had created.

These included jabbing breasts, destroying the courtyard, hitting staff members, and stealing school signs.

“This is what someone’s got to do with their time right there,” he said.

The consequences for these acts are severe.

If a student is caught participating in one of these trends, Fogerty said they could be expelled or fined.

Support for this project was provided by the Rhinelander Community Foundation.

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Payton Rudawski is a WXPR Student Storyteller.
Abby Belbot is a WXPR Student Storyteller.