East Texas students form Justice League after rapid spread of concerning social media challenge
“What’s going through my mind is ‘What’s next?’ and nothing really seems to surprise me”
LONGVIEW, Texas (KSLA) - Students at an east Texas middle school are now holding their peers accountable after witnessing the rapid spread of a damaging “challenge” on the social media app TikTok.
“Devious licks” encourages students to vandalize and steal items from schools. Across the country, participants reportedly smashed school tiles, stole or destroyed soap dispensers and even reportedly stole a bathroom sink.
Frustrated by the actions of their peers, students at Judson Middle School in Longview created the “Judson Justice League”, which is dedicated to deterring students from engaging in potentially harmful and dangerous behavior at school.
Throughout Judson, fliers with QR codes are posted, allowing students to anonymously report concerning social media trends and challenges, which could carry over into the classroom.
Danny Stanley, the assistant principal at Judson Middle School, said it’s challenging to know what students are being exposed to on social media daily.
“What’s going through my mind is, ‘What’s next?’ and nothing really seems to surprise me,” Stanley said. “It seems like there’s a new challenge every day... in the back of my mind I’m thinking, ‘Okay, we have to deal with this,’ but then I’m thinking, ‘What’s going to be the next challenge?’”
TikTok banned the “devious licks” challenge, but the damage at Judson is done, albeit minor compared to other schools nationally.
“A few soap dispensers broken, a few wads of toilet paper put in the toilets,” Stanley said. “A little bit of graffiti... teachers reported minor things were stolen.”
Klushay Watts, a student at Judson Middle and member of the “Judson Justice League”, said she was saddened by the behavior of her peers.
“It was really immature to see students go around and vandalize schools and honestly it represents us,” Watts said. “Them tearing up our bathrooms and taking things from the school is just not okay.”
Watts said the “Judson Justice League” will discourage students from engaging in questionable behavior since they could be reported to school leadership.
“Students can make a big impact on other students,” Watts said. “With what they’re doing comes consequences, consequences come behind your actions.”
“Some of the things on the internet are very hurtful and it projects onto us,” Watts explained.
As a school administrator, Stanley emphasized that it’s very difficult for leaders to stay ahead of emerging and potentially threatening social media trends and challenges.
He hopes the “Judson Justice League” will give schools insight and a heads up on these apps.
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