TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Terre Haute Police Department made a Facebook post Tuesday warning young people in the Wabash Valley to not participate in recent social media trends involving vandalism.
The trend referred to as “devious licks”, which began surfacing on the social media video app TikTok, involves destroying public property, usually school bathrooms, and posting the videos online. According to the THPD post, several local schools have seen their bathrooms get damaged from people participating in the trends.
“We take those on a case by case basis. We try to understand what the damage that has been done, and of course have some appropriate discipline is as a result of that,” Vigo County School Corporation director of communications Bill Riley said.
Police officials also said that multiple arrests have been made following people participating in the trend.
“We understand these acts are done by those seeking attention, however, these actions are criminal and will be prosecuted,” the post read.
The department also said they would like to see parents get involved in order to curb the recent uptick in vandalism.
“We encourage all parents and family members to speak to their children about the consequences of these actions and discourage them from participating in these acts,” the THPD Facebook post read.
Though this isn’t a trend everyone is taking part in, staff members hope students think about the consequences of their actions.
“I don’t think that participants in this trend have thought it through” Riley said. “They’re filing themselves with proof that they took something from the property. I think the bigger thing in my mind that they’re not thinking through is these schools are constructed to help them.”
Riley says staff members are coaching students to not take part in this trend and to take pride in their school by not stealing or vandalizing the property.
“The lessons are still the same,” Riley said. “That you want to treat everybody and everything with respect and our school administrators and teachers are trying to reinforce that.”