Creating A School Of Dancers, Not Devious Lickers

Mac Martin, Junior, Stanwood High School, Stanwood Camano SD
Nov 18, 2021
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Creating A School of TikTok Dancers, Not Devious Lickers: How do we get the student body to change their focus and convince them it was their idea? 

What is the "Devious Lick Challenge"? It is a challenge on TikTok, where students are encouraged to take something from their school; these items may include the bathroom sink, a soap dispenser, or even a teacher's desk. Schools have tried a multitude of ways to stop students, yet this challenge is just as popular today as ever. Clearly, many solutions aren't working. So, what is the solution? 

The solution lies in your student leaders. First, you must use them to redirect the climate of your school. You have to make students think that it is their idea to stop. Think of a toddler for a moment: if they are behaving unacceptably, it is almost impossible to reason with them. Instead, a parent typically has to get the toddler to change their focus, and in the process, convince them it was their idea. The same applies to our schools. When students are doing these challenges, we have to convince them it is "cool" to pivot away and try something new; a culture needs to be put into place where students say, "we don't do that here!" 

However, when this announcement comes from the building principal, students will want to do the exact opposite. Students and principals often can have a hard time connecting. But, what if, instead, we take a new approach to changing the climate and culture? What if the admin utilizes their student leaders to set the tone? Research shows, "Peers influence people because they want to fit in, be like peers they admire, do what others are doing, or have what others have" (KidsHealth.Org). Like a toddler, when the students set the tone, rather than the principals, students will follow because it is "their idea;" the culture change is coming from their peers, rather than a distant force. When student leaders change the tone from being a TikTok devious licker to being a TikTok dancer, students willingly follow because of their need to fit in. 

Your student leaders are going to know the climate of your student body better than anyone else. They will know exactly what is needed to change the focus from devious licking to dancing. It is important to use your student leaders as a resource. Remember, they were elected because of their influence over the student body, so use that to your advantage. Your student leaders set the expectation that their peers will follow. By no means am I saying that your student leaders are hall monitors. What I am saying is they know their peers better than anyone. So utilize them to change your school's culture for the better. Utilize their knowledge of their peers and their ability to redirect the culture's focus from devious licking to dancing! 

  • tiktok
  • Creating a Culture
  • AWSL
  • student leadership
  • social media
  • culture
  • High School
  • Middle Level
  • Student Leadership (AWSL)
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