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Area school districts face TikTok challenges, warn parents

A new TikTok challenge this month calls for students to slap a teacher on their behind.

MOLINE, Ill. — Area schools districts warned parents of an ongoing viral social media challenges involving school property and teachers. 

The challenge is leading students to make choices that damage school facilities and potentially harm teachers.

"It's crazy," Davenport parent Laurie said. 

"It's kids being destructive," Davenport parent Toby Paone said.

What's called the "Devious Lick" TikTok challenge has students taking on a number of inappropriate activities while in school.

"It's unfortunate that it's gained the attention that it has," Paone said.

The challenge called for students to damage school restrooms in September.

"It's not right," Laurie said.

Schools all over the Quad Cities area have been faced with the incidents. The Moline-Coal Valley School District alerted parents that "Devious Licks" have caused destruction to multiple restrooms at Moline High School.

"Parents have got to take action with these kids," Laurie said.

Moline High School officials said soap dispensers and paper towel holders were vandalized in the restrooms. The district ended up closing several restrooms down in order to clean up and make repairs.

One student wrote on her Facebook, "I was not allowed to use the bathroom in a class because I would have to walk halfway across the school."

It doesn't appear the trend has slowed. A new TikTok challenge in October calls for students to slap a teacher on their behind.

"And they're not playing, they are not playing," Davenport Education Association President John Kealey said.

Kealey represents roughly 1,200 teachers and staff in Davenport schools. He feels administrators have been doing all they can to keep this from becoming a bigger issue. 

"I don't know who thought of this, that this was just going to be some good ol' fun," Kealey said.

Not only do these devious acts disrupt school, but they also potentially harm teachers.

"(It's) intimidating to teachers, making them feel incredibly uncomfortable," Kealey said. 

Parents have also voiced concern with this month's challenge that encourages sexual assault of school staff.

"Slap a teacher? That's an act of violence," Paone said. 

"They need to be (held liable) for it," Laurie said.

Local school districts warned students that the challenges can have consequences in school and even involve law enforcement action.

TikTok said it would remove any content that encourages wrong behavior in schools, as the actions and encouragement of said behavior directly violate the app's community guidelines.

Search "devious licks" in the app, and you received message that states, "This phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines. Promoting a safe and positive experience is TikTok's top priority."

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