Rio Rancho Public Schools encountering TikTok challenge causing theft, vandalism

Education

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Middle and high school students throughout the country are recording themselves stealing school equipment, as part of a trending TikTok challenge and now, that trend is making its way to Rio Rancho Public Schools. 


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Rio Rancho Public Schools sent an email to families Thursday telling them the challenge has to stop. “Let’s get this stopped and get back to being happy that we’re back at school and proud of our building,” said Scott Affentranger, the principal at Cleveland High School.    

Students are back in school. However, with their arrival, comes to a new TikTok challenge called “Devious Licks.” Which has students recording themselves stealing various school equipment and showing off their thefts on the popular app. 

“The majority of the things we’ve seen happen in the restroom facilities, removal of the paper towel holders, removal of the soap dispensers, in some cases trying to manipulate the actual faucets themselves,” said Affentranger.     

Affentranger said this viral trend has made its way to his own campus as well as other schools in Rio Rancho. He said they first noticed this trend popping up at Cleveland early last week. Affentranger said they haven’t found any videos of the challenge from Cleveland students. But said they’ve already suspended three students caught in the act stealing fixtures and equipment. 

“We’re going to do two things, we’re going to do a short-term suspension and we’re also going to assess the cost of the repairs and we’re going to apply that cost and expect it to be reimbursed,” said Affentranger. 

Rio Rancho district officials said they are reviewing videos they believe may have been posted by students at other Rio Rancho schools. They wouldn’t share that content with KRQE News 13 but they are asking parents for their help.  

“Talk to their students, check their social media, encourage them to do the right thing, while they’re at school, those things go a long way when parents say I don’t want you engaged in this kind of stuff,” said Affentranger.    

An Albuquerque Public Schools spokesperson said they’ve also encountered problems from the “Devious Licks” challenge at some of their schools.

A spokesperson with TikTok sent a statement saying it does not allow content that promotes criminal activity and goes on to say the company is removing videos of this challenge to discourage such behavior.

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