Students Vandalize School

FHS Responds to Destruction of School Property by Closing Bathrooms


Catherine Smith

The bathrooms on the second, third and fourth floors in the main building are shut off to students.

Catherine Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Most bathrooms at FHS are out of service until further notice. Principal Kraig Kelican said they will not be reopened until they are repaired and items are replaced for functionality. “Depending upon the damage we may not be able to reopen them because of safety and sanitation issues,” said Kelican. So far, they have been closed for eight days.
Students at FHS vandalizing bathrooms under a TikTok trend known as “devious licks” where they steal school items. Students are recording these acts and posting them to TikTok and Snapchat stories. “It seems to be a national dilema right now with schools, and high schools seem to be the biggest target. I don’t know what brought this out. It’s just destructive. It’s destroying school property. It’s vandalizing, so what drives people to do this? I have no idea, and, of course, they’re posting the videos all over TikTok, and it’s just become a major issue right now in schools,” said School Security Officer Sal Torelli.
While students understand the reason behind the closure, many are frustrated with the situation. “I don’t like how they’re handling it. It isn’t fair for kids on the third and fourth floor to walk to the first just to pee,” said junior Anna Tate.
The term “lick” is slang “for theft, and often includes stealing small items such as soap and hand sanitizer, but can range to more serious items like toilet seats, school signs and even fire alarms,” according to an article on
In an article on, the original creator was cited to be a user named @jugg4elias. In a video he uploaded on September 1, he took a box of disposable masks and captioned the video, “A month into school absolutely devious lick. Should’ve brought a mask.” The video has since been removed from the platform along with several other copies and remakes.
TikTok has the hashtag “devious licks” banned but videos, along with the hashtag, have spread to Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. According to an article on NBC News, individuals are now using “devoius lick,” a misspelled version, to share the videos.
Kelican said FHS was “aware of this trend for several months and saw very few incidents until the last week to ten days.” However, stolen or broken soap dispensers, flooded toilets and soap smeared mirrors are still occurring despite the new regulations. Custodians have reported acts of vandalism in the gym lobby, cafeteria and cube bathrooms. “We are investigating all leads and info we receive. We need students to report these incidents and bring social media posts to admin anonymously. Once we catch a few violators, the message will get out,” said Kelican.
According to senior Jordan Bew their electricity class had no substitute on Friday, September 17. This led to several “devious licks” “because it sounded like a lot of fun,” said Bew. FHS like much of Fauquier County is experiencing a teacher shortage, and without a teacher in the classroom, some students were emboldened to participate in the trend.
Students will face punishment for participating in these acts. They “will be disciplined in accordance with school policy, restitution for any and all damage and possible criminal charges. This could include vandalism, destruction of school property, theft, larceny, etc,” said Kelican. According to Torelli it could even go as far as juvenile court. “I don’t think the teens realize that anything you put out there on social media, we’re going to see it eventually and even if you delete it, someone’s got it,” said Torelli.
Kelican urges students to stop this behavior and asks for support from the community. “I believe our students are better than damaging the restrooms in their school. This shows a total lack of respect for themselves, their peers and their school. These acts are foolish, immature and will not be tolerated,” said Kelican. Torelli places an emphasis on school pride and taking care of what students have. “This is our school, it belongs to all, students, staff, teachers. Do the right thing,” said Torelli.