Sweetwater ISD Limits Student Bathroom Breaks After Vandalism
Sweetwater ISD began tightening its restrictions on how often students use the bathroom after facilities sustained damage as part of a TikTok challenge.
The nationwide "devious licks" trend made rounds on the popular video-sharing app TikTok during September of 2021 when Abilene and other Big Country school districts reported damages in their student bathroom, including sinks and urinals being ripped out of walls and ruined hand sanitizer dispensers.
After much outcry, TikTok removed all content related to the "devious licks" challenge and now redirects users to the app's Community Guidelines page.
Sweetwater ISD has taken an especially strict stance to prevent the same level of damage again. Going forward, junior high and high school students will only be given six bathroom passes per six-week grading period — which averages out to one bathroom pass per student per week. Students cannot use more than one bathroom pass per day.
Though the district has received feedback from concerned parents about the new policy, school officials maintain that these passes are intended to supplement students' breaks between classes and should help minimize the time spent outside of class instruction. The goal is to keep students from spending unchaperoned time in the bathroom in large groups, which in turn lessens the likelihood of more damage occurring.
Thankfully, these passes are preventative measures, but they do raise some questions about the health and safety of students during the school day. Is it really healthy to avoid taking bathroom breaks during the day? Well, no, but it's probably safer than ripping fluorescent lights out of the bathroom ceiling and filming it for all your friends.