Winter Break - Increase in School Graffiti

Winter Break – Increase in School Graffiti

Winter break is approaching, which means there will be an increase of bored kids with free time, not  within their usual, daily classroom setting.  Bored, free time, could mean kids looking for mischief. Predictably, these kids usually roam about the commonplace stomping grounds of their school campus. And a vacant school gives impetuous children the opportune moment to commit graffiti and vandalism.  Unfortunately, during winter break school districts tend to see an influx in school-ground graffiti, as experienced last January in 2017.

Graffiti at schools yields budget problems for the school district.  Immanently, the school must first pay for the cleanup quickly. For failure to execute a complete removal of the markings leads to the risk of more painted writings, and more vandalism means heavier cleanups and higher school spending.  In addition, markings on the school campus are an eyesore and bring down the value of the school, as these signals are associated with gang activity.  Sadly, this problem can beget a diminishing attendance and less funding for the school.

When schools become deficient in funding, it becomes an entirely new, inexorable concern.  The students are the backbone of society, and when they aren’t provided an environment worth fighting for, society falls apart. Not to mention the snow-balling effect that evolves when graffiti and vandalism are strewn about a school’s grounds.

Students are influenced strongly by the peers within their environment, and when their environment spells trouble, kids absorb this behavior like a sponge.  Some children will respond with anger using rebound graffiti targeting the school.  Other children will respond with curiosity adventuring with their first markings on the unattended school. This environment influences the next generations in ways one cannot even imagine.

When it comes to school-ground vandalism, prevention is the number one penny saver.  There is too much at stake to risk all the consequences that follow a single act of graffiti.  In every instance, especially when it comes to deterring graffiti and vandalism, it is best to not make a mistake when you can avoid it.  This holiday break, measure twice and cut once.

No graffiti tonight

Stop School Graffiti

Over the Christmas weekend, a school in Bundaberg Australia experienced graffiti on their walls.  The vandals painted “tags and vulgar language” with flares on the side of the school building. Bundaberg‘s relieving officer-in-command, Glen Cameron, states, “Over the school holidays police actively increase their patrols in these areas in an attempt to prevent offences like this occurring.” Graffiti in schools does not just occur in a vacuum. If police increased their patrols, what are locals doing in stopping school graffiti?

“But assistance from members of the public goes a long way to preventing antisocial behavior in and around school grounds.”, says Cameron. The police can only do so much. They enforce the law and prevent nuisance crimes as much as their resources and tools allow them, but vandalism in schools is a social problem that communities need to address.  Preventing “antisocial behavior” could lead to preventing vandalism in schools.

The fact that “vulgar language” is being sprayed on school property asks two questions. Why is the language vulgar? And why does it happen on school grounds? Teenagers can be rebellious and sometimes antisocial toward society, but who sets their boundaries? They do, but initially boundaries  start at the home. Vulgar language is probably used by their friend groups and local communities. Once “vulgar language” is spoken, usually others copy.

The next question is why at a school? The school gives them homework, has rules, and has authority. Vandals probably don’t like authority, and the school becomes the perfect target. These antisocial crimes do not just occur without reason. Being anti-authoritative could be one of the causes. The Center for Police-Oriented Policing says graffiti sprayers are usually associated with other illegal activity. There is a culture that goes along with graffiti spraying, and usually, it is not positive.

The police of Bundaberg urge the community to contact the police if anyone sees suspicious activity around the schools. Why didn’t anyone contact them? Did no one see them? That could be true, but part of being a community is being aware of suspicious activity. Communities around the globe should be actively setting consistent boundaries and be aware of unusual local activity. Seeking ways to create a culture that stops school graffiti can be hard, but should be done, because it starts with “assistance” from the community.