RICHMOND, Va. -- A new TikTok trend that has students across the country vandalizing and damaging school property has made its way to Central Virginia.
Students have posted nearly 100,000 videos on the platform under the hashtag "devious licks," where they can be seen defacing school bathrooms or stealing items like trash cans and toilet seats -- all for the sake of bragging rights and views.
Henrico County Public Schools said they've dealt with this destructive trend within their district.
"We have had several vandalism incidents in our bathrooms, but so far it has been limited and consisted of students trying to pry soap dispensers off of the walls," said Susan Moore, Henrico Schools' director of facilities. "We’ve purchased additional dispensers for replacements and our custodial staff will continue checking the bathrooms periodically."
Parents of students at Glen Allen High School received an emailed note from the principal last week warning of the trend.
"This is very concerning behavior as it adds financial burden to our school, makes more work for our custodial staff, and most importantly removes soap from our restrooms during a pandemic," the email stated. "Please speak with your children and be on the lookout for anything that would help us stop this disturbing trend here at Glen Allen HS."
In Chesterfield, parents of students at Thomas Dale High School tell CBS 6 teens have not only grabbed at the soap dispensers, but they've been damaging ceiling lights and exit signs on the property as well.
Chesterfield schools confirmed there has been damage from students.
In Richmond, Superintendent Jason Kamras mentioned students tearing down soap dispensers in his "Reopen with Love 2.0" update at the Sept. 13 school board meeting.
Those incidents happened at River City Middle School and Lucille Brown Middle School. However, Richmond school officials told CBS 6 they do not have any indication that those incidents were related to a TikTok trend.
According to Forbes, the trend has now gained the attention of the U.S. Senate, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sending a letter to the social media company's CEO saying it hasn't done nearly enough to stop it.
Although, days before Blumenthal's letter, the hashtag and it's varieties were banned by TikTok, according to their community guidelines Twitter account.
We expect our community to create responsibly - online and IRL. We're removing content and redirecting hashtags & search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior. Please be kind to your schools & teachers. pic.twitter.com/mIFtsYwFRb— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 15, 2021
Forbes also reported some students across the U.S. are facing criminal charges in relation to vandalism in their schools.