Bathroom Shutdowns as TikTok Trend Ravages Schools

A sign in the Commons bathroom.

A sign in the Commons bathroom.

Sam Roberts, Journalist

Recently, the social media app TikTok has had an explosive increase in popularity, but this attention has created some problems involving recent trends that have sprung up. The latest trend “The devious/diabolical lick” has caused some concern all around the country, hitting OHS hard as well. This trend consists of people stealing or vandalizing things particularly in bathrooms, but it could happen anywhere else. OHS has seen a startling uptake of this trend, with many of the bathrooms closing down. These disturbances have caused quite the stir in our community.

“It was kind of funny in the first few videos, but then it got kind of extra,” Freshman Jonah Song said. He has been watching these videos for a while now, and has seen everything that this trend has produced. There have been a wide range of items stolen, such as soap dispensers, bathroom stall walls, and toilets. Song mentioned that he started seeing this trend in his feed around mid-August, when many schools around the country had started back up. A stunt to get popularity on the internet, this trend has persisted until our school year started up. Song said that the trend is losing a lot of its momentum, yet also stating that even if it’s dying down his biggest issue with it is that he hates to see our staff members clean up this mess. His problem with this was the fact that kids were not given access to the restrooms when they most needed it. “Kids don’t have anywhere to go,” was Song’s main dilemma for this whole ordeal.

Olympia High School’s Head Custodian Carolyn Poage addressed this event. Poage said that these issues mainly occured in the boys bathrooms; that the girls haven’t done that much damage to their own facilities. Poage stated how much this hurt, not just because of how frustrating it was to replace but because of how much it saddened her to see her community do this for the fun of it. Yet, reports still pour in. Fortunately, the district will be able to fund the replacements of the damaged items, such as wrecked soap and paper towel dispensers. Poage is going to be fixing up the restrooms soon, so they should be ready to go. But as Poage stated, “That doesn’t mean they’re going to stop ripping them off.”

In the Tumwater School district, Custodian Rick Eberle was dealing with these same issues. Tumwater schools saw some interesting acts of defacing, like some students who would take and smear soap over the bathroom floors. This would slicken the floor, making it slippery and harder to walk on. This was just one of the many things the students would do as a part of this whole trend. Tumwater High took similar actions to OHS, like locking down the bathrooms when this trend was in full swing, but most bathrooms are now intensely monitored from the cameras near their entrances. Tumwater schools have yet to punish students with any suspensions or fines for financial compensation to replace such damaged items. Fortunately, Eberle was able to fix or replace most of the items that had been destroyed almost immediately, helping to restore the bathrooms to working capacity and to be up and running for the student body to use again.

This trend saw a crazy increase in popularity, but is now starting to die down as places everywhere are tightening security and placing precautionary measures. However, this trend is starting to die off now that rules have been set in place to prevent students from taking these actions. It begs the question, what will the next big trend be, and what will it do to transform the internet?