GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — Portable toilets are the newest addition to Nevada Union High School's campus after a viral TikTok challenge left some of the school's bathrooms unusable.
Four porta potties sit near the center of campus, bolted to the ground, after two restrooms were closed through January for construction.
The damage to the restrooms, according to NUHS Principal Kelly Rhoden, resulted from a TikTok trend that includes the hashtag #deviouslick or #deviouslicks. As part of the video, students damage and steal school property, record it, and post it to social media.
TikTok told NPR in a statement in September, it is removing content with the hashtag and redirecting the search results to its community standards.
Now, months after the trend first gained attention on social media, the consequences are seen in four porta potties on the NUHS campus. The school of 1,500 students and 200 staff required more bathrooms when two closed for construction.
"It's money we could've been spending on other things to support students in different ways," said Rhoden.
She said the damage was caused by a "small number" of students, not the majority, but that the consequences impact everyone. A third bathroom was damaged but was able to be fixed and reopened quickly. The extent of the damage in the remaining bathrooms, in addition to a staffing shortage, has caused construction to take more time.
"This has all been super hard to wrap my head around because we do have so many amazing students," said Rhoden.
Damages at NUHS included toilet paper shoved down toliets, paper towel dispensers and mirrors ripped off walls and then broken. Offenses, that Rhoden said, include criminal and legal consequences.
"Our first means of intervention is to just figure out why and what we can do to help them," said Rhoden.
Rhoden said a conversation is most important, but fines, family meetings, law enforcement involvement, and potentially, court proceedings are on the table for students committing the vandalism.
Nevada County District Attorney Jesse Wilson said the ultimate goal is to keep juveniles out of the criminal justice system, and instead, reevaluate short-term choices for long-term success.
"The impact that it has on others, the impact on the community, more importantly, changing this decision-making perspective, what type of person they want to be moving forward," said Wilson.
Rhoden said Nevada Joint Union High School District reported restroom restoration costs could cost up to $100,000 district-wide.
The two bathrooms under construction are set to be reopened after the holiday break in January.
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