Students stealing school property at Madison City, Muscle Shoals City Schools for TikTok challenge

Students are stealing bathroom fixtures, like sinks and hygiene items, even fire alarms off the wall all for social media.
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Did you get an email from your child’s school tonight? It’s warning you about a new TikTok challenge that is literally damaging valley schools.

Students are stealing bathroom fixtures, like sinks and hygiene items, even fire alarms off the wall all for social media.

Decatur City Schools, Madison City Schools and Muscle Shoals City school leaders have all sent out emails alerting parents of the consequences children could face.

It’s called the Devious Licks challenge.

It’s happening at the middle and high school level in North Alabama and all over the country.

“Students look at it being harmless, like a paper towel dispenser being damaged, or removed or stolen. Bathrooms being vandalized with soap all over the mirrors. We’re spending a lot of our time cleaning up messes,” Muscle Shoals City Schools superintendent Chad Holden said.

Students then turn around and post videos documenting the theft on TikTok

Holden says just this week, parts of fire alarms were ripped off the wall at the middle school.

“That takes it up a notch. To me that’s a very serious thing when you start impacting a school’s ability to respond in an emergency situation. Right now we’ve had to replace a thousand dollars worth of fire alarms in one school building,” he said.

And Muscle Shoals isn’t the only district where this is happening.

Madison City Schools Assistant Superintendent Eric Terrell says most of these incidents are happening in the bathrooms where cameras aren’t capturing the crime. Fire alarms haven’t been taken there, but other items in the bathrooms have.

“We have soap dispensers that have been taken, we have toilet paper dispensers that have been taken,” Terrell said.

A TikTok spokesperson tells NBC News, “we are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”

“We certainly don’t want to have to get the police involved and we don’t want parents to have to shell out money for something their kid damaged at school,” Holden said.

“That range of discipline could go anywhere from in school suspension to an expulsion hearing with our board of education,” Terrell said.

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