Hawaii schools warn against ‘devious licks’ social media trend

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A trend on TikTok encouraging students to damage and steal school property has been happening on Hawaii campuses for about a month. The Department of Education (DOE) has a warning to those thinking of doing it.

This trend is called ‘devious licks,’ which was made popular on the social media site TikTok. According to the Urban Dictionary, a ‘devious’ or ‘diabolical lick’ is the act of stealing something from school and posting it on social media for clout, or influence and power.

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Since the trend began in September, schools have been dealing with an uptick in the theft of everything, from hand sanitizer dispensers to computers.

McKinley Principal Ron Okamura admitted that some social media trends are funny, but he said this trend is different.

“When it crosses the line, where you are hurting somebody, you are taking something that doesn’t belong to you or even when it becomes criminal — may it be property damage or even violence — they really got to take it seriously.”

McKinley Principal Ron Okamura

He said the trend started in September with kids trashing bathrooms by taking all the paper towels and dumping them on the floor. Then, hand sanitizer dispensers started disappearing.

“The kids were going and stealing the things, and they were actually taking videos of themselves playing and dancing and squirting these hand sanitizer and soap dispensers around,” he explained.

According to Okamura, they found the students responsible and they are facing the consequences — along with their parents who have to pay for the damage and missing items.

He said the situation is worse at other schools as students are stealing laptops, and he is afraid it will continue to escalate.

“One of my staff members said, ‘Hey, you heard about the new trend that’s on Tik Tok?’ I said,’ What’s that?’ He said, ‘it’s about hitting a teacher.”

MCKINLEY PRINCIPAL RON OKAMURA

Okamura said that is a felony offense.

The Department of Education (DOE) sent out a letter Tuesday, Oct. 5:
“The behaviors encouraged by these Tik Tok challenges will not be tolerated by our schools. These challenges have escalated beyond minor pranks and are serious offenses that can lead to severe disciplinary consequences. The Department is working closely with federal, state and county law enforcement. Offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and face student disciplinary action.”

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“There are consequences and sometimes the consequences are huge and could affect them for the rest of their lives,” Okamura explained. “So (students) got to start really think about what they doing.”

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