The Effects of Vandalism in the Bathrooms

The boys bathroom in the 200s pod was among the few closed due to vandalism.

Bridget Nelis

The boys bathroom in the 200’s pod was among the few closed due to vandalism.

Bridget Nelis and Jamie Cahill

A viral trend that originally started on TikTok spread across the internet and eventually came to St. Charles North. The trend, called “devious licks,” involves students stealing from and vandalizing school bathrooms. The “devious licks” trend has resulted in the arrests of students across the country. 

Last Thursday, many bathrooms were closed as students partook in the challenge. While North students weren’t quite as destructive as students in other schools, there was still considerable damage that needed time to be repaired.

They would take the soap dispenser cartridges. They would take the toilet paper out of the toilet paper dispensers and put it in the toilet, and then just leave everything like that,” said Melinda Roberts, Assistant Principal for Student Life.

However, despite the circulation of rumors about larger items being taken from the bathrooms, sinks or toilets were not stolen.

“We didn’t experience anything like people walking away with sinks and toilets, and you know, things like that. But somebody did try to remove some things like permanent fixtures that are in the bathrooms and then we had some students that were messing around with the soap dispensers and things like that. It was just more disruptive in nature rather than theft-related,” said Roberts.

Bathrooms that students had wrecked were closed for up to a few hours so that repairs and cleanup could be done.

“Each time we had to close a bathroom, we had to assess the damage and get replacement materials up and on the walls,” said Roberts.

This week, administration has seen a significant decrease in the amount of bathrooms being vandalized.

The missing sink in the boy’s foyer bathroom. (Lexie Muffitt)

“We were able to figure out some of the people that were involved, and that very quickly kind of deescalated the situation,” said Roberts.

Students who have been linked to the vandalism faced consequences for their actions. However, due to confidentiality, administration could not say exactly what punishment students received.

The trend gained popularity at North through the spread of rumors, including one about a sink. The most talked about rumor at North last Thursday was that an entire sink had been stolen from the boy’s bathroom in the school foyer. 

“One of the big [rumors] was that they had taken a sink out of the bathroom in the foyer and that is 100% not the case. That sink was removed several years ago. So there’s mounts where the sink used to be, but that have been painted over. So rumors were more dramatic than the reality,” said Timothy Mackin, Dean of Students.

Since last week, school administration has taken steps to prevent more destruction.

“We’ve increased supervision and the frequency of stops and visits into bathrooms. And we’ve reminded our staff of the importance of reporting those types of things immediately,” said Roberts.

Administration appreciates everyone who has not participated in the trend and has tried to make others stop. 

“Our students were the ones that were communicating to their peers like, ‘This is ridiculous. Knock it off. It’s inconvenient and it’s a waste of people’s time and resources’ and honestly, I think that was just as empowering as it fading away,” said Shanna Lewis, North principal.