Vandals deface campus property

Soap dispensers remain stolen despite staffs’ unsuccessful attempts at restoration.

Soap dispensers remain stolen despite staffs’ unsuccessful attempts at restoration.

A recent trend popularized by social media platforms that promotes property damage and vandalism has been sweeping schools across the nation, with Diamond Bar High School falling victim to such antics as well.

The trend dubbed “devious licks” emerged around the beginning of September from social media platform Tiktok.

The premise of the trend has students vandalizing school property in exchange for social media views.

Among the items that were most commonly misused or tampered with included soap dispensers, toilet seats, construction sandbags, lunch crates and other items around campus.

As a means to address this issue and inform parents of the trend, the DBHS administration sent out an email expressing their concerns.

“We wanted to bring to the awareness of parents the social media fad that is causing a lot of vandalism to schools across the country,” principal Reuben Jones said. “The biggest part of the letter was to make sure parents are aware how social media can be the catalyst of why these things are happening.”

To help deter the trend from further damaging school properties, TikTok has been removing any posts containing the tag “devious licks.”

However, despite such efforts from the administration, the acts have continued to occur on DBHS campus.

“I understand it’s fun because it’s a challenge on TikTok and it’s popular, but [the vandals] have to consider that it’s school property and consider how they feel about it too,” junior Catherine Han said.

According to Jones, there are nearly 200 cameras monitoring the DBHS campus, although none are active in the places where vandalism most commonly occurs— restrooms and classrooms. There are, however, cameras outside of such areas that contain footage of who exactly enters or leaves after the vandalism occurs, which is how the administration catches the offenders.

“By investigation, we’ll talk to students in the area to get an understanding of what happened, and students admit it,” Jones said. “In Diamond Bar, when students realize the consequences of their actions, they take responsibility for what has been done.”

Jones added that students who witness vandalism should report the occurrence to administration and will be given the option of remaining anonymous to avoid conflict.

As damage toward facilities is a violation of the California Education code, vandals are subject to disciplinary action. These consequences range from a warning to suspension and other punishments depending on the gravity of the act.

“I want to emphasize that any kind of vandalism of any kind of school property is unacceptable, we don’t want to see that kind of thing happen,” Jones said. “Anything that [students] can do, we want to make sure that it doesn’t continue.”