Grand theft academic

Deviant students commit devious licks


Photo courtesy of Adelaide Baird

Soap dispensers were a common item stolen leaving bathrooms bare with minimal resources. Due to the size of a soap dispenser, students could easily conceal the products in their backpacks. This left bathrooms with no soap creating inconveniences for spartans.

As the “devious lick” trend runs rampant, Spartans have joined in on the chaos and started stealing and destroying school property with the aim of gaining social media clout.

“We all use these things like soap and [students are] stealing [them], they’re being thieves,” said junior Nick Frazier.

With the trend originating on Tik Tok, users posted videos of themselves opening a backpack to show stolen school items and describe it as their “devious lick.” These items ranged from soap dispensers to toilet paper rolls, but the trend slowly escalated as students stole everything from bathroom stall doors to fire extinguishers. 

“At first I saw the trend and I thought it was a little funny, then it started happening at our school and I didn’t really care [because] it was small things, but then as days went by people started taking trophies and stall doors,” stated junior Rhea Sidhu. “It’s so destructive and it’s making the janitors’ [lives] harder.”

Students and faculty are beyond frustrated with the effects of these “devious licks” since they have shut down building facilities, including many school bathrooms. Even at the bathrooms still available, there may not be any soap left to use.

“I had auditions today for the fall play and I was really lucky because Ms. Nash had opened the boys dressing room which had a bathroom, [but] besides that, there is like only one open bathroom in the school,” exclaimed Frazier. 

Some students are even posting on social media to influence their peers positively. Sidhu posted on her Instagram story reminding students that the trend is no longer funny and that their actions have consequences. 

“When I first posted, I was nervous people would think I’m a goody two-shoe rule follower and although I got a lot of support, some students still thought the trend was funny,” stated Sidhu.

 The trend has gone so far that the administration commented on the issue during morning announcements. Principal Michael Mukai announced that the whole school is a collective resource for everyone that needs to be respected. He took an approach in his message that emphasized community over punishment.

“This is your school, this is your place. I’ve been an employee in Fairfax for twenty-seven years and fourteen of them have been [at WS]. The reason I’ve come back here is because this is a great place, there are great kids, and great families and they deserve to be trusted,” said Mukai. “You deserve to be able to go to the bathroom by yourself where you don’t have to be watched and don’t have to be controlled. Why would I threaten the greatest kids I’ve ever worked with?”

Through the information provided by students, faculty, and parents; the administration has been trying to stop the trend’s effects. Some parents informed the administration about the “devious lick” trend before the direct effects began to materialize. A few parents even had their kids take responsibility for their participation in the trend.

“We’re a school, not a penal institute. We teach kids stuff, so my job is to make sure kids have an opportunity to learn, find out what they want to do in life, [and] who they are. The penalty parts are already preset and I’ll tell you there are consequences,” said Mukai. 

As trends tend to come and go, the administration and students are hopeful that “devious licks” will start to die out. 

“Beginning of the year is always a little wild, it might be a little more exacerbated this year because we had such a long break,” said Mukai. “I hope we will settle in as we get used to each other.”