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Montana students and school staff react to viral "Devious Licks challenge"

Posted at 3:47 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 17:56:25-04

BILLINGS — The West High School principal sent out an email talking about a Tik Tok challenge, and some vandalism that's been going on as part of the viral "Devious Licks" challenge.

It's something that has affected other schools across the country and some students recently talked with MTN News about the vandalism.

"Devious Licks, it's really not a smart thing to do," said West student Connor Roderick. "It's really illogical not very smart. It's really unresourceful. It wastes time for both staff members and teachers."

"We're just like breaking everything and it all adds up," said fellow student Adrianna Rubich. "And so, it's just like a lot of money that we're pretty much wasting."

In a September 20 email to parents and students, principal Kelly Hornby states:

"Due to a nationwide 'Tik Tok' challenge, we've experienced an increase in vandalism at our school. This has been very disappointing to us, and expensive to repair. Please support us in asking your students not to vandalize as it is taking dollars away from educational resources." - Principal Kelly Hornby

According to the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), lick is a stolen item, and the videos encourage students to steal from the schools.

"The more likes they get or the more damage that they do, it became more popular," said Arapahoe County (Colorado) Undersheriff James Englert.

Englert is the NASRO Region 10 director and serves as a school resource officer in Centennial, Colorado. He has seen some of the damage done from the challenge

"At least in my school, what they were doing was pulling the soap dispensers and the paper towel dispensers off the wall," Engler said. "And spreading like red ink in the bathroom stall like on the toilet and on the wall."

"I don't think it's right," said West student Anika Yates. "It's against the law. vandalism is against the law."

"Anytime you damage something that would cost you money to fix it, that would be criminal mischief," Engler said. "And I'm sure Montana's the same charge, maybe just a different name."

James Englert phoner gfx.png

There is no official word about the damage at West, but students are talking about a stolen sink and mirror.

"Going in and stealing sinks and soap dispensers and stuff that they need is just, it's kind of just insensitive and unfair," said West student Sam Trujillo.

"They're taking mirrors off and shattering it," noted Danika Paulbeck. "Honestly they just look stupid. You may think it's cool now, but you're gonna have it all coming back at you at the end."

Engler said things have improved at his school since the videos are no longer available.

"Tik Tok took them off," Engler said. "They were removed on the 13th and they were banned on the 15th of this month."

"I feel like kids should like really pay attention to other stuff more than just tik tok videos in general," West student Levi Burcham said.

"It's really bad decisions that people are making and kind of, it's very dumb because it's just taking like school property and everything," added student McKenna Lauckner.

"We need our education like you know, vandalizing our stuff, it's just like, you know, bad," said West student Alec Jones Koffee.

"The devious lick challenge isn't a challenge," said Milo Anderson-St. John, a West student. "It's just a crime for maybe 10 minutes of fame."