Episode 58: The Devious Licks Challenges

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“Devious Licks” is the newest trend to hit the social media platform TikTok this school year. Like most viral crazes this one took off with youth, mainly boys, but definitely in the wrong direction. The term “ hitting a lick” means to successfully steal or rob someone without repercussions or retaliation. Students hit licks by stealing or vandalizing items from schools, like trashing bathrooms, stealing soap dispensers, and taking things off teacher’s or principal’s desks without their permission. They would then post their successful lick on TikTok using the hashtag #deviouslicks.

TikTok has removed the challenge from its platform and denounces any videos associated with the hashtag #DeviousLicks. In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for TikTok said: "We expect our community to stay safe and create responsibly, and we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities. We are removing this content and redirecting hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior."

Students are being arrested and or suspended for vandalism of public property. Schools are cracking down on this trend, which is going strong even after it was removed from TikTok. Observing the challenge has given me two powerful insights. Number one: Students are influenced by social media more than we in education are able to address. Number two: Students are motivated to commit a crime and post it on social media for social recognition. In my opinion, this trend is another result of the pandemic and it may shift into its own variant.

In this episode, I speak to my former student and NFL Wide Reciever Jerrell Jackson and current owner of API Fitness, along with his friends former NFL Wide Reciever T.J. Moe now Real Estate Investor, along with NABC Hall of Fame basketball player Devin Griffin. We discuss ways to educate students about social media, digital citizenship, and how to stop these trends from taking off.

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