BY RODELL WYATT, GRIFFEN HERNANDEZ, AND ROSA PRESTON
Art. It’s a creative way to express yourself, and it can be quite fun to make. However, art does have limitations, and doing it on public property is one of them. Lately at Truman, students have been not just vandalising the bathrooms, classrooms and much more, but they’re stealing things from them for their “art projects.” This may have gone in through one ear and out the other for next, but vandalism has serious consequences, and can even land you in jail in the real world.
Apparently, the trend entitled “devious lick,” has become popular on TikTok, and many students not just at Truman, but in the entire Independence School District have been taking part in it. Because of this, students are participating in vandalising school property, such as writing on bathroom mirrors, or even stealing items from the bathroom.
And unsurprisingly, the staff isn’t exactly pleased with this. The Assistant Principal at Truman High School, Jason Morton, had this to say about dealing with the initial source, “I think that information is power in this case. Many folks who are doing this “for fun” have not considered the impact on our custodians, the disruption of our school environment, the inconvenience to peers, and the discipline and legal issues that could arise as a result of their poor choices.” And he’s right about a few things, such as inconvenience to peers. When asked what the consequences would be if it continued, he said, “Ultimately, students suffer the most when restrooms need to be closed, hall passes need to be limited during class time, etc. This is why it is so important to report concerns to an adult so the choices of a small few do not impact everyone.”
There’s one other major consequence to the vandalism that Mr. Morton mentioned: vandalism is illegal. For most adults, they’ll have to pay a fine of at least $500, or serve some jail time for up to a year. For high school students of varying ages, though, it depends. Mr. Morton said, “Vandalism is a crime that can result in referral to Youth Court for minor or charges and possible arrest for legal adults (17 and above). School consequences can range from in-school suspension to a long-term suspension for up to 180 days. It’s not a joke.”
Morton is most definitely correct about vandalism not being a joke. Some people could be doing this out of fun or popularity. But some people do it for the sake of just ruining other people’s property, or even bullying, as some people write offensive or inappropriate things about people on bathroom walls and mirrors about others. So, vandalism has negative effects socially, educationally, and even mentally. The best way to avoid any consequences or repercussions is simply to not damage school property.