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‘Devious Licks’ strikes county park, school

It’s called “Devious Licks,” and it’s a destructive game of theft and vandalism among kids across the country.

And it’s landed in Franklin County.

It’s a viral 2021 TikTok trend in which American students post videos of themselves stealing, vandalizing, or showing off items they stole primarily from their schools, typically from bathrooms.

Allen Ham, a school resource officer at Franklin County High School, said a male freshman from the school had busted up three toilets at the concession stand and field house at Vrooman Park in Eastpoint.

Later, juveniles tore off and stole soap dispensers at the school and ruined a Chromebook by throwing it in a toilet. 

Ham said four laptops were stolen, as well as two-way radios, and a teacher had items stolen from her classroom.

Principal Lawrence Pender said a tip came in from a fellow student as to who the culprits were after the school offered a cash reward. He said one of the students who informed had bemoaned that he was a snitch.

Pender said he quickly set the student straight, stressing that he was doing the right thing for all the classmates by protecting the school’s property and not letting the situation get even worse.

Pender said he has been in talks with the parents, and they have been responsive and helpful in addressing the problem.  He said Fonda Davis, who is in charge of county parks and recreation and is member of the school board, is working on a plan that may include complete reimbursement of the damages or working off the cost of the vandalism.

TikTok began removing videos featuring the trend, with the original video being removed on Sept. 13. According to a press release from the platform, the trend was banned by TikTok on Sept. 15 for violating TikTok’s Community Guidelines against illegal activities, by which time the “devious” hashtag had over 235 million views.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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