PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. - A TikTok challenge that encourages students to steal and vandalize school property is disrupting the school day at districts across the country.
The principal of Port Washington High School warns parents and students that he may need to close bathrooms if the vandalism does not stop. He is giving kids until the end of the day Monday, Sept. 20 to return stolen property before he contacts the police.
Custodians at Port Washington High School have been busy keeping bathrooms stocked. Towel and soap dispensers are disappearing.
"When you start to destroy property or just steal property, you’re overstepping the line," said Principal Thad Gabrielse.
Gabrielse is keeping a close eye on the bathroom situation after learning about a TikTok challenge called "Deviant Lick." It encourages students to vandalize school property, specifically bathrooms. A quick search on the social media app will yield videos from around the U.S.
"This is the first time I’ve encountered something through TikTok that has an impact on our building school-wide, and it’s had an impact on all of our kids," said Gabrielse. "They need the resources as much as we do, we want to make sure those resources are in place for their education."
Gabrielse sent a letter home to parents Friday, Sept. 17. He hopes students will come forward themselves and stop the vandalism before more serious action is needed.
"We have a great population of students here, and it definitely doesn’t represent the majority of our kids – but we need to look at it," Gabrielse said.
If dispensers keep disappearing, Gabrielse said bathrooms will start getting locked.
"If it does continue to spiral out of control, we’ll need to shut down many of our bathrooms and make some changes," said Gabrielse.
Parents at Horning Middle School in Waukesha got a similar letter Friday. Administrators said in the letter that they will also need to start closing bathrooms if things get worse.