School vandalism is a constant issue taking place across the country, especially after long holiday breaks. It’s a crime that is costly for schools and dangerous for students and faculty returning to the campus. Broken windows with shattered glass in classrooms, exposed wires or toxic chemicals spilled in areas that children spend most of their day is hazardous and also time consuming to reverse.
When students and faculty return to these vandalized schools, they are distracted from their studies and the level of attention is disrupted. Studies have linked the effects that a school environment has on academic performance. If lights or heating units aren’t working due to copper wire being stolen from the classroom units, it impacts the attention span of the students, even the teacher. Graffiti vandalism on campus instills a sense of fear and anxiety that crime had taken place on campus. Some studies also indicate that if children are exposed to these types of property crimes at an early age, they may be more prone to commit these crimes at a later age themselves.
A recent article on The Gazette titled “Landscapes may shape learning,” mentions a study conducted on “The Hidden Benefits of Green Landscapes” at schools. This was presented by the head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois. He indicates that students have higher attention spans if they have a view of a green spaces from their classroom. Being exposed to green spaces gives the brain a break from the “rigors of focusing on work and other tasks requiring active attention.” Imagine how much additional rigorous activity the brain is put through when it is faced with an environment destroyed by vandalism. When the environment stays clean, everyone and everything in it will feel safe, and student safety is a top priority for all a schools.