‘It is criminal behavior’: Oswego School District seeks parent support to thwart rise in vandalism amid viral TikTok post

In an effort to thwart a viral internet trend, Oswego School District 308 officials are asking parents to remind their kids that vandalism of school property is a crime.

According to the Associated Press, kids across the U.S. are posting TikTok videos of themselves vandalizing school bathrooms and stealing soap dispensers and even turf from football fields as part of what is known as the “devious licks” challenge.

OSD 308 Director of Communications and Public Relations Theresa Komitas confirmed Sept. 21 that the district has been the victim of several incidents related to the trend since the school year began in late August.

“We have had some vandalism in our schools related to that trend,” Komitas said, adding that the district and building principals have reached out to families to ask them to speak with their kids and “to again remind them that criminal damage and theft are a crime.”

“It is criminal behavior,” she continued. “They are breaking things, stealing things, destroying things in the bathrooms. It costs money, it’s disruptive, it also is destructive to their fellow students who can’t use the bathroom.”

In a Sept. 10 parent newsletter, OSD 308 officials also asked parents to speak with their kids about the consequences of the trend.

“It has come to our attention that there is currently a TikTok challenge circulating encouraging junior high and high school students to see what kind of stuff they can ‘steal’ from school, and unfortunately we’ve been victims to a few of these incidents,” the newsletter reads. “PLEASE remind your children that stealing and destroying school property will not be tolerated. Your assistance is appreciated.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.