DV-ous Licks: the TikTok trend that reached Dougherty


Mahika Arya

All boys bathrooms aside from those in the 1000’s building and commons are current closed due to a lack of federally-required soap.

Mahika Arya and Jade Wang

As Dougherty Valley High School (DVHS) Principal Evan Powell announced on the intercom Wed. Sept. 15 that majority of the boy’s bathrooms were to be shut down due damaged and stolen property, students across campus looked at one another in surprise. Quickly, many pieced together what had happened — the Devious Licks trend had left its mark on Dougherty’s campus.

The trend began on TikTok in early September, with a user claiming to have stolen a box of masks from their school. After gaining thousands of views, other videos began popping up across the platform, each “lick,” or steal, more absurd than the last. From exit signs to whole bathroom stalls, the items taken thanks to the trend began to get out of control.

On a national level, schools have been devastated by damaged property, and San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) is not exempt. Both Pine Valley Middle School and San Ramon Valley High School have seen the aftermath of the trend on their campuses. 

“Just through conversations or the news, we heard about [the trend] and said, ‘Oh, that makes sense,’” Powell said. “My colleagues at other schools right now have had similar identical issues, and so through word of mouth, [we saw the issues] were related.”

Since approximately Sept. 9, DVHS has seen the impact of the Devious Licks trend — at least 16 soap dispensers are missing, 12 reserves of soap supply (usually lasting a full school year) have been depleted, food has been smeared across bathroom floors and clogged up toilets and at least two mirrors have been damaged.

“​​It’s roughly about $50 per [soap] container; that includes the staff person’s time to install,” Powell explained. “The excess cleaning from the toilet clogging impacts the custodial runs… when they have to spend an hour to de-clog and do deeper cleans, that affects the greater good of cleaning our classrooms, hallways, trash, etc.”

Combining installation, maintenance, and clean-up costs, over $800 of damage has been done solely through the soap dispensers, with no final quote on the impact of other property damage on the budget. 

However, Dougherty has been active in addressing these issues, from encouraging students to report themselves to the office to setting up an anonymous tip line on the website. According to Powell, the tip line has already received seven related tips that have helped identify several students involved. 

“I honestly believe we’re talking about 10-15 students that this [trend] is going on with, and out of the 3,350 students we have on campus, it’s a very, very small percentage,” Powell said. “I applaud our students for speaking up and saying something, and I’m proud of our students, even those who are taking responsibility.”

In terms of discipline, the school is starting with minimal and restorative consequences, Powell said. This could mean punishment begins with a parent notification, but could escalate up to suspension if a student lies or commits multiple offenses. Powell says that these measures are being taken to encourage student safety.

“Our goal is we want students on campus to learn,” Powell said. 

To further investigate the situation, parent volunteers will join campus monitors to help patrol hallways and bathrooms. The administration is also reviewing available video camera footage and continuing to monitor the anonymous tip line. 

Ultimately, the goal is to restore supplies and the well-being of students on campus. Students are encouraged to participate in identifying damaged property and those who did the damage.

“When someone makes a mistake by taking responsibility, it helps heal the process faster and also shows ownership and a level of learning that we want at Dougherty Valley,” Powell said.