DEMONious Licks


Provided by Jackson Fromm

Emelia Merrick, Staff Writer

Opening up Tik Tok, Instagram, or Snapchat, most people are familiar with the vandalism trend, referred to as “devious licks.” For those who aren’t, it’s a trend where people take things such as soap dispensers, toilets, and doors off the walls, especially in the bathroom of schools. At R.J. Reynolds High School this trend has escalated. The bathrooms are now filled with living rooms, toilets with trash cans in them and students giving other students haircuts. This phenomenon has caused a lot of concerns.

 “[Hygiene] is a level of safety especially dealing with the pandemic, where we need soap in the bathrooms, we need the bathrooms to be clean,” principal Calvin Freeman said. “We don’t need folks joshing around in the bathroom.”

Without the soap in the bathrooms, students are starting to carry around their own hand sanitizer which isn’t necessarily ideal. 

“[The prankers] are punishing their own students, affecting their friends and it’s a pandemic, washing hands is so important right now,” custodian Candice Ellison said. 

What many students don’t understand is that their pranks always lead to more work for someone else.    

“The staff at RJR was really upset for a while,” Freeman said. “I mean when we call and say there’s soap on the floor and the soap isn’t easy to wipe up. You gotta rinse it and wipe it down and all that. It’s not something that anyone wants to be a part of in terms of cleaning up. It starts to wear on folks where it feels a little personal and it becomes an issue to them.”

With the staff, Ellison’s concern is for the students.

“I feel sorry for the kids just wanting to use the restroom and that’s it,” Ellison said. “I know there was a girl that came all the way down to the first floor because there was no soap on the third.”

Along with the devious licks, students have used the bathroom as an office room, barbershop, and art canvas. Students like junior Luke Cambell think that adding stuff to the bathroom is less problematic than taking necessities away. 

“One costs the school nothing and the other robs the school of a functioning bathroom,” Campbell said. “There’s a fine line between devious licks and putting a table in the bathroom. I understand why the school thinks it’s immature, it is.”

Having a bathroom that doesn’t function properly is a growing concern for students who simply just need to use the restroom. Even when students are not vandalizing the bathrooms, they are causing disturbances that affect the whole school. 

 “When people go to the bathroom as a necessity, we aren’t really allowed to go and properly wash our hands or use the supplies because it’s all thrown of the floor, on the walls or the soap dispensers are broken down, the trash is upside down and we don’t have what we need to finish using the bathroom,” senior Julian Rodriguez said. 

When asking students at RJR, most weren’t aware of the trend or didn’t like it. The question is: Is taking things from public bathrooms for a singular purpose worth it, if you are ruining students’ clean and functioning bathrooms?