In some ways, destroying another person’s property can be misconstrued as a means of “blowing off steam”. Some may even argue that some form of vandalism is art and beneficial to the community. Few argue against the fact that vandalism is destroying property owned by someone else. If that property is public property, it is owned by all in the community, not just a few who decide to destroy it. Nonetheless, vandalism in all forms is a serious crime with serious side-effects, and it’s committed all too commonly.
Unfortunately, a great percentage of the perpetrators are children, and schools become their target. When one student sees their peer commit an act of vandalism there is more likely to be second occurrence with a different student. Children mimic what they see, and once one child breaks the ice and crosses that first boundary, it becomes that much easier for another child to join in.
The consequences of these crimes are severe and affect everyone in the community, both directly and indirectly. As a community caring for the next generation, we must do what we can to prevent these crimes from occurring.
Here are three key suggestions the community can do to help prevent these instances, assist our children and help our schools stand against school vandalism:
Spending time with and talking to children about the importance of responsibility. Respecting other people’s property is a very important lesson for everyone to learn. This education should take place in the family but should be reinforced within the community, either through the school or community groups.
Extracurricular activities like youth centers, athletics, and after-school study groups with current programs keep the kids busy and healthy.
Visible security in the form of officers, cameras and posted signs introduces the idea to the possible mischief maker that there is a possibility that they may get caught. The idea of getting caught takes on a form of responsibility within the mind, and this in turn reduces the prospect of a crime occurring.