MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — It’s been a concerning year on social media, with each new “challenge” daring participants to act more and more boldly.
The latest trend, the “Devious Licks Challenge,” has its participants engaging in vandalism and theft. Footage of the crime is then posted on TikTok, all for the sake of likes and views.
Criminal acts have been reported in school systems across North Alabama including Muscle Shoals City Schools where a middle school student stole fire alarm flashers.
Superintendent Chad Holden said that vandalism is no joking matter and stealing fire alarm flashers, if there’s an emergency, puts everyone at risk.
“The vandalism is bad enough but when you start stealing fire alarms, that ups the seriousness just a little bit,” Holden said.
Holden said the flashers have been recovered and the student who stole them has been identified.
“We’re looking at can they be reinstalled? Are they going to be operational again? So, hopefully we’ll have the answers to that pretty soon,” Holden said.
Holden added it’s unfortunate that students are choosing to engage in these acts but he hopes through communication with parents, the “devious licks” will end.
“There are criminal implications and we communicated that to our parents on Friday,” Holden said. “We don’t want to get the police involved; we don’t want parents having to pay for damages that their students may cause at school, but we try to get ahead of it—communicate with our parents, let them know that this was going on in case they were not aware.”
Holden’s message for students is for them to have different expectations for themselves and to take pride in their schools and facilities.
Holden said the student who stole the flashers will be disciplined according to the Muscle Shoals City Schools Code of Conduct for acts of vandalism and theft. The violations allow for the student’s suspension from school and the parents will be responsible for service calls to the alarm company and any equipment that cannot be reinstalled.