Eighty-five percent of public schools recorded one or more crime incidents took place at school property during the 2009–10 school year. That’s an estimated 1.9 million crimes (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
Graffiti and vandalism prevention takes priority, certainly after a costly incident. These occurrences can and do happen even in the “safest”, most unlikely school districts.
School officials at Olathe East High in Olathe, Kansas, for example, were surprised by an unprecedented $10K in graffiti vandalism damage in June, 2014. Graffiti vandals strike at any time with various motives.
One disgruntled student can destroy community confidence and demoralize classmates and school officials. Consider the young student at Alpine School District just last month, whose destructive behavior resulted in major equipment theft and vandalism, leaving the school district with a whopping $20K in cleanup costs and restoration.
Alpine School District spokesman John Patton said, “While [petty vandalism] may be something that we deal with from time to time, something of this nature is really rare. It is extreme, completely out of the ordinary and very disheartening.”
“The environment has been affected, of course,” Patton continued. “We are working hard to get everything repaired…I really think when something like this happens there is.. shock….”
Schools traditionally are far more likely to prepare and prevent harm to schoolchildren from fire hazard than from other crimes such as school vandalism, equipment/metal theft and property damage which also impact the learning environments and safety for the students and faculty. The real enemy of preparation is denial.