How to Deter School Vandalism

How to Deter School Vandalism

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.

 Active Programs

Extracurricular activities like youth centers, athletics, and after-school study groups with current programs keep the kids busy and healthy.

 Visible Security

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.

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.