MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — A new TikTok challenge has made it's way to some Central Texas school districts. Not only is it a challenge, it's a crime.
Students are stealing, breaking and vandalizing school property all to get views, likes and followers.
"Kids don't think about the damages they are doing and the consequences from the legal aspect of it, from the theft of the value of what they are taking," said Jeff Foley, a police officer with Hewitt Police Department and the school resource officer at Midway High School. "They look at it as this is something that is going to get shock value, that's going to get likes and follows on social media and that's really all that's important to these kids these days."
It's called the "devious lick." Basically, kids film themselves stealing or damaging school property.
School officials from Belton Independent School District and Midway Independent School District confirm with 6 News that over the last week, they have experienced vandalism and theft potentially related to the current TikTok challenge.
Waco Independent School District Police Chief David Williams II said Waco schools haven't had any incidents on their campus yet.
He wants parents to be aware of the activities their kids could partake in and be proactive.
"Parents, let your children know not to have this type of behavior, because if they do, there's going to be a consequence," said Williams.
Students aren't realizing the challenge is criminal activity that can add up to a hefty price tag.
The consequences vary based on the monetary value of what's destroyed or stolen. Students could see a fine of a few hundred dollars or they could be arrested, and in some cases, get prison time as well as a criminal record.
"The kids just think that it's a game they're playing with and not actually thinking about what the consequences are," Foley added.
With those consequences in mind, Williams issued his own challenge to Waco ISD.
"I challenge each student, Waco ISD, to do the right thing and not accept this challenge," he said. "Lead the pack by not taking the challenge and showing other campuses, and school districts that we are going to take a proactive stance on this and we're not going to follow the nonsense."
Williams hopes parents talk to their students about the consequences, but they're ramping up monitoring like the other districts.
"Monitoring a little bit more restrooms, having more of our staff in the hallways closer to the restrooms, so we can monitor who goes in, and when they're coming out," he explained.
In a statement to 6 News Wednesday, Belton ISD said:
Over the last week, Belton ISD has experienced vandalism and theft potentially related to a current TikTok challenge.
It’s really important that students and families understand that this is not just a fun social media challenge — the district is actively seeking out those responsible and may pursue disciplinary or criminal charges if appropriate.