Viral TikTok challenge leads to destruction of Rio Rancho school property
RIO RANCHO, N.M. – A new TikTok challenge is encouraging some students in a community to vandalize and destroy school property.
Rio Rancho Public Schools sent out letters to parents asking them to talk to their children as they see a sharp increase in vandalism at schools over the last week and half.
Students are posting videos of themselves damaging or stealing school property. School officials at Cleveland High School say students are actually bringing tools to school to pull this off, but now they want parents to let their students know — this can cost them.
“Devious licks refers to a trend tictokers steal school equipment and flaunt it like trophies for all of TikTok to see.
Principal of Cleveland High School, Scott Affentranger, said they caught a student in the act last week.
“It’s mostly restrooms and its the tearing down of the soap dispensers, the paper towel dispensers, removing the doors from the stalls, messing with the faucet. If there’s a screw, taking the faucet out,” he said. “Even small soap dispensers are expensive now. I mean, nothing is cheap. So we’ve had a number of those things happening and labor costs I’m sure we are well over a thousand dollars, if not more.”
Affentragner said they are monitoring social media to try to identify those students.
Meanwhile, TikTok has disabled the search of this content, saying it violates their guidelines. But search or not, those videos are still going up.
“The vast majority of our students are amazing. They’re wonderful students, they take care of the campus, they take care of our community. This is a small percentage, but what’s sad is that a small percentage is really hurting those other students and the facilities they use,” said Melissa Perez, spokesperson of Rio Rancho district.
Officials at Rio Rancho said if students are caught they will be suspended, but they could also have to pay for those damages, and the labor to fix it.
KOB 4 reached out to APS and officials there said this is also happening at middle school and high schools around Albuquerque.