PARIS — TikTok, the social media network, has renewed interest in old music, made viral video and music stars out of people having fun and even factored into the 2020 presidential election. The free app has been downloaded more than 130 million times in the U.S. alone and established celebrities have started their own accounts.

TikTok is also being blamed for a national trend of school destruction, starting after a student posted a video of personal protective equipment he had lifted with the message “Only a month into school and got this absolute devious lick.” Within a few days that video had more than 7.2 million views and a viral vandalism spree was born.

Maine school districts have not been immune from the acts, as reported in the Portland Press Herald last week. Schools from Old Orchard Beach to Bangor have been dealing with bathroom vandalism all month, with soap dispensers stolen, restroom facility stalls’ destruction and removing fire extinguishers. At Freeport High School some bathrooms have had to be closed and students at Greely High School in Cumberland face suspension and criminal charges.

At School Administrative District 17, Superintendent Monica Henson reports that Oxford Hills schools have not had a big problem with the TikTok challenge.

“We have had three minor incidents,” said Henson last Thursday in an email statement. “Nothing like what’s been reported on the national news, and nothing in the elementary schools.”

Damage and vandalism done during the TikTok challenge would be a violation of Oxford Hills School Districts Student Code of Conduct policy, section eight, which states students shall respect the property of others, including school property and facilities.

Henson added that as of Sept. 23 the challenge has not resulted in any damage to school property. She would not comment on specific situations involving student discipline.

According to USA Today, “Students across the U.S. are being arrested because of their hijinks committed as part of the ‘devious licks’ trend.” The New York Times reports that “TikTok is also trying to stop the trend by deleting the content and redirecting hashtags and search results to its Community Guidelines page, according to a spokesperson.”

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