By Guy Page
Student vandals stole soap dispensers from Colchester school bathrooms last month as part of the “Devious Licks” social media fad, Colchester police said. And now some Vermont schoolkids have graduated to actually licking bathroom appliances.
‘Devious Licks” posts on the Tik-Tok video-hosting social media site had inspired middle school and high school students across the USA to steal soap dispensers and vandalize school bathrooms in the short-lived, mid-September “Devious Licks” fad. After the Chronicle reported Sept. 23 about incidents at Harwood Union High School in Vermont, a Colchester reader said it was happening there, too.
Sure enough. “We had a couple of incidents at the high school,” Colchester Police Department School Resource Officer Corporal Jaime Bressler said today. “But it was mostly in the middle school.”
In the middle school, all of the soap dispensers on every first floor boys’ bathroom were removed. Only two soap dispensers were removed from the high school, she said.
The high school has video footage, but nothing conclusive. But over in the middle school – which doesn’t have video surveillance – Bressler said she’s close to citing a juvenile for the crime.
Bressler, a New Hampshire native and 18-year-veteran of Colchester PD, has a child at Essex middle schools. She says that after Tik Tok took down the videos, the focus of the Devious Licks craze (somewhat predictably) morphed. A ‘devious lick’ is street parlance for a clever theft. However, Bressler reports that some literal-minded middle-schoolers in other school districts are taking video of themselves actually licking appliances, she said. Some do so as the school principal is speaking over the loudspeaker warning students to refrain from bathroom misbehavior.
Colchester community supports school resource officers – unlike its neighbors Burlington and Winooski, suburban Colchester has experienced no community uprising against cops in schools. In general, community members seem appreciative and supportive. It doesn’t hurt that Chief Doug Allen is a former, and highly popular, SRO.
However, staff shortages have reduced the SRO roster from two to just Bressler, meaning she is less able to speak in classes and other relationship-building activities.
Categories: Police Reports