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TikTok Restroom Challenge Infuriates FMs, Everyone


By Greg Zimmerman Plumbing & Restrooms
tiktok restrooms
Credit: TODAY Illustration / Getty Images stock / Tiktok 

Normally, keeping up on the latest goofy TikTok challenge isn’t one of a facility manager’s core competencies. But when that challenge — as stupid as it is — directly affects their job, then it’s incumbent on them to pay attention. 

File this one under “What’s wrong with the kids these days?” The latest viral TikTok challenge,  known as “Devious Lick,” is apparently just to destroy restrooms in schools and other public facilities. That’s it, that’s the challenge. 

 According to multiple media sources, teens are intentionally clogging toilets, smashing restroom mirrors and sinks, and stealing soap and towel dispensers from school restrooms, either at their own schools or at rival schools before sports contests. Then they’re posting the destruction on TikTok with the hashtag deviouslick or deviouslicks.  

To combat the vandalism, one school in Kansas posted a guard outside restrooms, according to the Guardian. As many as 13 students have been arrested nationwide for vandalism as a result of the challenge, reports People

TikTok has said it’s removing any new videos with the offending hashtags. On the plus side, at least one vendor has offered to replace a vandalized towel or toilet paper dispenser as a result of the challenge.  

A story from WABE quotes a school communications staffer from San Antonio, expressing exactly what most facility managers are probably thinking: “It’s certainly very, very frustrating for administrators, for custodians, teachers, other students, maintenance staff. When this type of thing happens, not only do the custodians and the maintenance workers have to stop whatever they actually should be doing. They have to then come and clean up and that sort of thing. It’s also frustrating for the students because those restrooms then need to be shut down.”  

Greg Zimmerman is deputy editor, Facility Market. 

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