Central Ky. schools dealing with vandalism linked to latest viral TikTok ‘challenge’

Central Ky. schools dealing with vandalism linked to latest viral TikTok ‘challenge’
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Some central Kentucky students are walking into school bathrooms with missing soap dispensers and sinks.

The so-called “devious licks challenge” from TikTok is going viral nationwide, involving students recording themselves stealing equipment right off the walls.

Sinks snatched and soap dispensers ripped off the wall.

It’s happening right here at schools in central Kentucky too. In an email sent out to families, Henry Clay Principal Paul Little said students found guilty of vandalism would be prosecuted and punished.

It’s even affecting every day operations. At West Jessamine High School, the soap and paper towels have been moved outside, where there’s more monitoring.

TikTok announced it’s removing all videos linked to the bathroom challenge.

We reached out to multiple school districts for comment on this issue. We are still waiting for an official response.

Fayette County Public Schools Spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall sent WKYT the following statement:

Fayette County Public Schools – like school districts across our state and nation – has seen evidence of students taking part in challenges circulating on social media encouraging individuals to damage or take school property.

Though the participants represent a small fraction of our student population, we have seen instances of this behavior – primarily in boys’ restrooms – on nearly all of our middle and high school campuses. This is certainly not reflective of the incredible students who attend FCPS or the supportive families we serve.

Leaders in each school have addressed incidents by increasing supervision near bathrooms, closing restrooms in need of repair, making intercom announcements to students, communicating with families, limiting the number of students who can be in the restroom at once, and escorting students to the restroom during instructional time.

Those engaging in this negative behavior face administrative consequences up to and including expulsion, as well as legal consequences depending on the severity of the damage. Students and families may also be required to make financial restitution to cover the cost of needed repairs.

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