The Devious Licks challenge poses challenges


Brook Wenande

Vandalism in the Girls bathroom is one issue this school year.

The 2021-2022 school year at Benilde-St. Margaret’s has presented a wide variety of challenges the school has not faced in previous years. One of these issues being the destruction and vandalism of the school’s bathrooms.

Since the beginning of the current school year, there have been reports of several incidents in both the boys and girls bathrooms regarding vandalism. Objects like paper towel dispensers, hand soap dispensers, bathroom stall doors, and bathroom stall walls have been either damaged or stolen.

The vandalism at BSM appears to be a part of a broader national trend. Reports from across the country all detail various types of vandalism similar to the incidents occurring at BSM. On the social media platform TikTok, a new trend has arisen of stealing bathroom and school property. The trend has been given the name “Devious Licks” and it consists of students trying to ‘one up’ each other by retrieving the biggest and most difficult objects to remove from their school’s property. This has not only affected the students using these bathrooms, but also the maintenance staff who has had to repair and replace these damages.

In addition to damages and vandalism in the BSM bathrooms, there have also been several complaints about the overall cleanliness in the bathrooms. “It usually smells really bad in the girls bathroom even after it’s been cleaned and the floor is always soaking wet. I think there needs to be cleaner facilities for the students to use,” senior Maggie Amaris said.

The recent events regarding the bathrooms at BSM have left both maintenance and the faculty staff confused on the students intentions. “I’m not sure why you would do certain damage to school property. I don’t like it when I see it happening, because we need to treat this place like our home, and we take care of our home. There are some things that just happen, but in other cases, there has been damage or vandalism that is on purpose,” assistant principal Matt Weingartz said.

Students who have to endure the consequences of damaged property caused by their fellow classmates are also among the confused and frustrated. “I noticed there was a soap dispenser missing in the main boys bathroom and I started laughing and then I just used the other soap dispenser available. [But] I thought it was kind of disrespectful that someone would take soap from the bathrooms during a global pandemic,” junior Brad Little said.

With TikTok being an extremely popular social media app among students across the nation, it’s hard to say when or if this trend will end. Unlike other TikTok trends, this one in particular has left lasting effects to schools everywhere.

With several reports and repairs occurring daily, there is hope among the BSM staff that the vandalising and damages will eventually come to a halt. “I appreciate all of those students that have spoken up about the problems that they are seeing, and telling students to leave the bathrooms alone from damage and vandalism; thank you,” Weingartz said.