A TikTok video trend, using the hashtag #deviouslicks and #diabolicallicks, has encouraged students to steal from and vandalize their schools.

Hardin County Schools and Elizabethtown Independent Schools appear to have been victims of it, which has resulted in student suspensions in HCS.

TikTok is a social media platform that gives the user the ability to record and upload videos. It’s particularly popular among teenagers.

Users of the application have been stealing random items from schools including mirrors, fire alarms and paper towel holders as a prank, and recording and posting these acts. According to a report in the New York Times, the videos first appeared in early September and have amassed millions of views.

Kim Adkins, HCS director of student services, said Monday she had heard from staff members from some of the district’s high schools and middle schools that there has been some “minimal disruption” in connection to the TikTok trend.

Adkins said disruptions include removing and/or hiding bathroom soap dispensers. However, she said she hasn’t confirmed the number or extent of the damage.

Adkins said she has sent information to school resource officers to be aware of the trend, and to provide “extra support” in schools. She said if incidents like this do occur, student resource officers will work schools to remedy the situation.

She said in cases of vandalism and/or theft, SROs generally are the ones who investigate these type of situations and determine the severity. She also said the district is reaching out to parents to make sure they talk to their students, and be aware of what they’re viewing on social media.

While she understands that it’s a prank, she said students should be aware of when something crosses over into breaking the law or harming others.

“I would just caution students to be very careful about what they are viewing on social media. I would like for parents to try to be more aware of what their student is viewing on social media, and to talk to them about making good choices,” she said.

Adkins said in an email that she met with principals, and some “{span}suspensions have resulted from students removing school property from buildings.” She said the district will provide a statement to students and parents to be aware of social media and to discuss possible consequences from similar trends.

Thad Elmore, Elizabethtown High School principal, said during the week of Sept. 13, a handful of disruptions in accordance with the video trend occurred over about a day-and-a-half.

While Elmore said he didn’t want to discuss too many specifics so as not to create more interest, he said the damages are “nothing major.”

He said the school currently is looking into the different levels of policy necessary with this situation in regards to discipline, with the possibility of it going toward local enforcement, if needed.

“Even though many, I think, read online … it’s more of a joke and a prank and so forth, it’s not,” Elmore said. “It is disruptive to the learning environment.”

According to the report from The New York Times, TikTok has been been trying to delete and redirect content on the application pertaining to this trend.

Andrew Harp can be reached at 270-505-1414 or aharp@thenewsenterprise.com.

Andrew Harp can be reached at 270-505-1414 or aharp@thenewsenterprise.com.

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