OREM, Utah (ABC4) – Public restrooms at schools and public parks have been closed after reports of targeted vandalism from a TikTok challenge called “Devious Licks” from Utah County teenagers.
The “Devious Licks” TikTok trend encourages teenagers to post videos of themselves stealing, vandalizing, and then showing off the item they stole or destroyed. The challenge typically targets bathrooms. Orem City officials were forced to close all city park bathrooms early in September, although they’re usually open through October.
The city says five parks have reported increased vandalism in public bathrooms including soap dispensers ripped off walls, destroyed toilet stalls, spray-painted vulgarities, and other stolen and destroyed items.
“We have four or five parks that have been vandalized,” says Jim Orr, Orem City parks section manager. “Bonneville Park was hit three weeks in a row. We’d fix them and the vandals would be back the next week.”
Orem parks vandalized include Bonneville, Sharon, Cherry Hill, Palisades, Foothill, Orem Elementary, and Community Park. All three Utah County school districts have reported vandalism to soap dispensers which were the original target of the social media challenge.
Orem officials say if caught, offenders will typically be charged with financial restitution and several hours of community service. In Provo, such a crime is considered criminal mischief and a third-degree felony. Juveniles could be placed in a juvenile detention center and the crime will be put on their permanent record.
The Provo School District had to warn parents of the destructive challenge after soap dispensers were ripped from the bathroom walls at Provo High School and Timpview High School. The Nebo School District reported around $1,500 worth of vandalism in some schools, as well.
“Last month, we had approximately $1,500 worth of damage done in school bathrooms throughout the district,” said David Stephenson, Alpine School District spokesperson. “We sent an email out to parents requesting their assistance in talking with their students and the seriousness of these crimes.”
Earlier this week, Washington School District officials reported thousands of dollars in damages after teens destroyed school bathrooms for the challenge. earlier this month, Salt Lake City Schools also fell victim to the destructive social media challenge.