A Villainous School Year

Who would’ve thought that vandalizing and destroying schools would become trendy? Probably nobody, but you can always count on TikTok’s users to come up with the next ‘challenge’ that gets them charged with a felony. The latest challenges, the Devious Licks challenge and October’s Smack a Staff-Member challenge, are challenges where you post yourself either stealing/vandalizing school property or smacking a teacher/staff member. Unfortunately, Apopka High School is no exclusion from these challenges. We’ve gotten to speak with Principle, Mr. Heinz, about the challenges.

(Courtesy of WFTV)

To talk about the devious licks challenge at Apopka High School, we must first share the origins of the challenge itself. The term ‘lick’ refers to when people come up on a lot of money very quickly. It can also mean someone who is easy to rob ( ie. “he’s a walking lick”). The trend originated on September 1st, 2021, when TikTok user jugg4elias uploaded a video onto the app, showcasing a box full of disposable masks they claimed to have stolen from their school, with the caption “A month into school… devious licks.” Soon after, similar videos with similar “devious lick” captions began to flood TikTok, and the challenge spread like a virus to schools nationwide, including our own Apopka High School.

(Courtesy of apopkahs.ocps.net)

How bad has the Devious Licks challenge been at Apopka High School? Mr. Heinz tells us, “I think that any of those types of behaviors is alarming. As far as how much damage or how much has taken place here, more than we would like, but not as much as some other schools I’ve heard.” It’s currently unknown how much money in property damage there’s been at Apopka High School; however, some schools have faced hundreds to thousands of dollars in property damage. Luckily, students participating in the challenge aren’t getting off the hook that easy; the punishment for the Devious Licks challenge is restitution, meaning that you’ll have to pay for anything that you take or damage. Also, depending on how much money you cost the school, the punishment could result in up to a Level IV offense.

October’s twist on devious licks is to smack a school employee, as if October couldn’t get any scarier! Luckily though, students who act in this challenge are not allowed on school campus, “…no ifs or buts about it,” Mr. Heinz says. What do our teachers have to say regarding these challenges? Ms. Kelley, when asked about her thoughts on the slap a school employee challenge, tells us, “I think it is pretty disappointing. I am not a fan of demeaning anyone and placing your hands on someone like that. [It] is completely disrespectful and ugly. We should all strive to be better than that.” We couldn’t agree more, Ms. Kelley. Ms. Richard gave us a piece of her mind as well, “I don’t understand why this challenge is promoting the assault of another person. Students think it is a ‘joke,’ but their actions have real-life consequences. As soon as the consequences are applied, people will be screaming, ‘they’re just kids being kids!’ But the ‘devious licks’ challenge has gone too far.” Both are completely understandable and agreeable responses.

Unfortunately, however, we could not receive word back from anybody on the custodial staff; we can imagine that it’s been one hectic school year for them so far as a result of the challenge, and it’s easy to assume they haven’t been happy with it. We can only hope that next month’s new TikTok trend will be something nicer and that it’ll spread to the rest of the platform as the next big ‘challenge’ that everyone wants to do. Like Ms. Richard tells us, “…we are living in a society where people want to go viral, and they will do anything to do it.”