Y'all, we have to do better because this is embarrassing, nasty, and just plain unhygienic.
According to a report from our news partners at KWTX, several schools across Central Texas and the nation are seeing destructive acts of vandalism, believed to be part of a social media challenge on the popular app TikTok.
Is the right sort of response?
Currently there is a challenge called "Devious Lick(s)", which encourages people to commit acts of vandalism or petty theft.
Acts include stealing soap from restrooms, removing floor tiles, taking signs, pilfering school calculators and other supplies, and even removing bathroom stall doors.
Schools are working diligently to repair and replace what has been tampered with, but are facing new issues every day. District spokesperson of Killeen ISD Taina Maya told KWTX that, "soap dispenser companies are overwhelmed with requests considering school districts nationwide are having their soap dispensers stolen."
In an effort to save money and resources, one school district in Central Texas has decided to no longer supply hand soap or paper towels to students. Midway ISD is now asking students to bring their own hand-washing supplies after 8 school restrooms were vandalized.
School resource officer Jeff Foley spoke with KWTX to defend the district's decision and stated:
“If they can’t respect the building and their school enough to take care of it then we are not going to continue to give them the soap. They can bring their sanitizer to school in their backpacks and wash their hands with that."
The Waco ISD Police Department also issued a stern warning to parents and students on Facebook writing:
"Hello Waco ISD students and parents,
We are aware of the TicTok Challenge, “Devious Lick”. Parents, please encourage your student not to get involved in this destructive behavior. Students make no mistake, if you participate in this challenge and destroy any Waco ISD property you will be held accountable. We must not fall into the stereotype of how we are seen. We must rise above this and set the example of how we take pride in our school district. If you want a challenge, I challenge each of you to do the right thing. Remember we are Waco ISD and we don’t follow trends, we set them!
Do what’s right.
I believe in you!
Chief David Williams, II"
We All Fall Down
Due to the choices of a few bad apples, now entire student bodies are being affected. It's sad to see what some people would do for their "15 minutes of fame."
We're in the middle of a pandemic, and now seriously isn't the time to take away the ability to wash your hands. It's also not the time to put unnecessary stress and strain on our school systems, which are already juggling so much.