By Collin Murray & Eric Vallen
With TikTok’s seemingly overnight success a few years ago as well as the app’s ability to stay in the limelight for years after its emergence came many viral trends that swept the nation. Many of the aforementioned trends have positive natures, but a select few are not so lighthearted, such as the recent “devious lick” trend, consisting of students posting videos of themselves stealing, vandalizing, or showing off stolen items, namely from school bathrooms due to the lack of security enforcement.
Due to the vast amount of positive attention that these criminals receive online, the horrific trend persists , causing middle schools and high schools alike across the Bay Area to take legal action against those committing such heinous crimes. In recent weeks, local schools have resorted to removing bathroom doors, jotting down students names and classes before entry, and even refusing bathroom breaks, closing restrooms during class only or even throughout the entire school day. If not restricting students’ access to bathrooms, school administrators have —and rightfully so— heavily chastised many students via animatedly expressing their grievances over the intercom concerning damages to school property; outcries that mostly fall on deaf ears.
Bay Area schools have reported intentionally clogged toilets, stolen soap dispensers, sinks, and urinals, and general destruction of property. Even here at Westmont, reports have shown According to NBC Bay Area, district officials have reported that many offending students have either come forward and admitted to the damage they caused, or have been identified through posts on social media platforms such as TikTok. Many students have been punished, the severity of disciplinary action depending on the severity of damage caused. Many schools have even gone as far as to bestow legal action upon their students, ranging from simple arrests to students facing bona fide criminal charges.
Due to the severity of action taken against offending students, the viral trend has transformed from so-called “Devious Licks” to “Angelical Yields” where students return the items they’ve stolen, and even leave random items (useful or not) in bathrooms. One TikTok user, @allbriasf, left the most angelic of yields, restocking her school’s women’s bathroom with quality hand soaps, air fresheners, toilet paper, and feminine products, all of which she bought herself. Following @allbriasf’s example, thousands more students have uploaded their own “Angelical Yields” videos, demonstrating how even the most despicable trends can transform into something beautiful, a valuable life lesson for all to learn.