TODAY’S GENIUS AWARD GOES TO……
Turns out all it took was a ridiculous internet trend paired with vandalism to teach kids about problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity. Students are stealing or breaking large pieces of school property as part of the latest harmful TikTok challenge to sweep the nation’s youth — and it’s driving their principals crazy.
The destructive stunt — dubbed both the “bathroom challenge” and the “devious lick challenge” as slang for the stealthy actions — has seen kids steal water fountains, hand sanitizer and soap dispensers, fire alarms, bathroom stall doors, hot air dryers, and many other major utilities, seemingly just for the thrill of it. It appears most of the thefts are often happening in school bathrooms, as many viral videos show.
Nationwide, some are taking the exploits to ruinous extremes, with the principal of Kansas’ Olathe North High School having to tell parents that several of the restrooms there were shut down because of stolen toilet seats and ripped-off stall doors. The vandalism trend forced a similar problem at Gulf Coast High School, causing the Naples, Florida, facility to shutter most of its bathrooms as well.
However, not all kids are on board with the deviousness. The trend reportedly began in early September when user @jugg4elias posted a since-deleted video of himself taking an apparently purloined box of disposable masks out of his backpack, captioning it, “A month into school absolutely devious lick,” according to Newsweek.