Social media presents kids with ever varied opportunities for trouble. As if online sexting and bullying weren’t bad enough, now it’s “devious licks,” a challenge where students post videos of themselves vandalizing or stealing school property.

If your child has taken the challenge, he or she could face both criminal charges and school discipline. Unfortunately, by posting video of themselves in the act, your child may have provided the evidence necessary for a conviction and possible school expulsion.

But all is not lost.

If your child is charged with a crime, an experienced criminal law attorney can review his or her case for its best possible defense. Is the identity of your child clear in the video? Can the state prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt? Can the state prove your child acted knowingly or with the required intent? Even if the evidence against your child is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a favorable plea agreement.

If your child is facing expulsion, it is essential that you request a hearing in order to preserve your child’s rights. An experienced school law attorney can present evidence at the hearing or can again try to negotiate a more favorable result. Be aware that a suspension can be a prelude to expulsion, so you may need to act quickly if the school decides to move from one to the other.

Although the trend went viral on Tiktok, the site quickly removed related content from its platform. However, posters have simply switched to alternative tags such as #despicablelicks, dastardly licks or nefarious licks.

If you have questions about a criminal or school law matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

References: CNN: The’devious licks’TikTok challenge has students stealing toilets and vandalizing bathrooms, and USA Today: Devious licks’ challenge on TikTok leads to criminal charges against students across US.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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