Prosecutor issues caution about social media challenges

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido is urging parents to talk to their children about the perils of social media challenges.

A new trend has started on Tik Tok known as “devious licks,” Lucido noted, in which children are being encouraged to film themselves committing various crimes and upload the video onto the social media app. 

The list, which has been circulating for some time now, encourages kids to commit challenges such as assaulting staff members, destroying school property, and inappropriate touching of their fellow students, he said.

“These kids are putting their futures at stake for a few likes and a little bit of attention,” Lucido said in a recent press release. “Criminal activity is treated differently than standard discipline problems.”

While these acts violate every school district’s code of conduct, Lucido said enforcement “won’t stop there. 

“Our office will prosecute crimes against school districts, their staff and their students,” he said. “Hitting a teacher could result in charges for assault and battery, a 93 day misdemeanor, or aggravated assault, a 1 year misdemeanor. 

There’s no excuse for someone assaulting teachers or other school employees while they are hard at work trying to provide kids with a good education.”  

Students who complete the various challenges on this list could find themselves charged with a variety of criminal charges including malicious destruction of personal property, assault and battery, criminal sexual conduct, shoplifting, and indecent exposure, according to the prosecutor

Lucido added that such charges could impact college admissions and scholarship opportunities, as well as future employment. 

He encouraged parents to review with their children their expectations related to social media and cell phone usage.

Kids are often unaware of the serious nature of these activities, he said, noting as well that children are also often unaware that anything posted on social media is traceable back to the owner of the cell phone, causing hardships for their parents as investigations unfold. 

In order to help get this message out to parents and students, Lucido is offering his assistance to local school districts. 

“We want to put an end to this before someone gets seriously hurt,” he said. “Whether we can help by putting out a robocall to parents, provide a speaker at an assembly, or just send out a letter to the school community, we are ready to assist our local school districts in any way that we can.”

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