Western Kentucky schools warn parents, students about ‘Devious Licks’ social media challenge

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UNION COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) A recent social media trend is alarming some western Kentucky school districts. 

Union and Webster County Schools are among those warning parents and students about the trend that involves damage to school bathrooms.

“Many schools have been, across the nation, challenged by this where it’s turning into vandalism and destruction,” said Malinda Beauchamp of Union Co. Schools. That challenge, known as the devious licks challenge on TikTok, has been spotted in the past week at Union County, Webster County and other schools across the commonwealth, and the country.

“There was some destruction in the bathroom, some messes created, trying to remove fixtures in the bathroom,” Beauchamp recalled. She also says much of it happened last week, including at Union County High School, where items from soap dispensers to mirrors were removed from walls, and other items were damaged. No further incidents were reported as of Monday afternoon.

Webster County School officials say some of the same happened at their middle school. Schools in Indiana also reported damage, but no southwest Indiana schools have reported any.(Christopher bush) 

“It’s getting a little out of hand because that;’s affecting the cleanliness of the bathroom and being able to wash their hands safely,” said Christopher Bush of Daviess County.

TikTok officials say they’ve started removing the videos from their site. Meanwhile, beauchamp says Union County Schools started temporary measures to cut down on future incidents, including replacing soap dispensers with hand soap bottles, and limiting the number of restrooms open at one time.(Malinda beauchamp) 

“We worked with the local health department to make sure we were meeting health department guidelines and had the current number of toilets and sinks available for the students in our population,” she explained.

She adds anyone caught faces discipline either from the school, or from law enforcement. Beauchamp also says the temporary measures will stay in place until school officials can be sure no future incidents will take place.

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