NewsRegion Martin County


Area schools vandalized as part of dangerous challenge on TikTok

Vandalism inside a bathroom at a Martin County public school during the 2021_22 academic year.jpg
Posted at 4:02 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 17:55:50-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — It's dangerous, destructive, and could ruin your future.

That's the message from school districts across our area after students destroyed and vandalized school property for clicks and likes on social media.

WPTV has obtained new pictures from inside schools in Martin County, which show soap dispensers knocked off the wall and stuffed into toilets, and light switch plates stolen from student bathrooms.

"Kids are doing this and don't realize the consequences of what can happen. All they want to do is see how many likes they can get on social media," said Frank Frangella, the Martin County School District's director of safety and security.

Students are destroying bathrooms as part of the Devious Licks TikTok challenge that has gone viral.

Frangella said it's happened at every middle school and high school in the district over the past few weeks.

"The second part has to do with taking personal property off a staff member or teacher, then posting that on social media," Frangella said.

On Monday, the School District of Palm Beach County sent a letter home notifying parents about the vandalism and destruction fueled by the dangerous challenge. where users then post video of themselves damaging school property.

"If this turns into a felony or what you're doing is close to that and charged as a felony, that's gonna be with you for the rest of your life," Frangella said.

Frangella said this challenge has caused extensive damage inside schools and students have already been suspended in Martin County and the sheriff's office has issued civil citations.

WPTV is told school police are also investigating several cases in Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties.

"Hopefully this will come to an end we won't have to do anything drastic, but there are consequences to your actions," Frangella said.

Some districts have now increased supervision with teachers and administrators standing outside bathrooms.

TikTok said it is working to remove the content, and school districts in our area are asking parents to speak with your children about the seriousness of vandalizing school property.