The Vandalism Problem at Sierra

Elie Yates, Staff

Walking around our school, you may notice drawings on the walls, writing in the bathroom stalls, and other pieces of our school property that has been destroyed. These are all acts of vandalism, big or small they effect all of us. Vandalism is an issue at Sierra because we can find examples of it everywhere, and something needs to be done about it. 

Whether you see it or not, vandalism is all over the place here at Sierra and it’s a big problem. Vandalism is any action involving destruction or defacement of property unowned by you. That’s anything from drawing on desks to smashing school windows. A lot of vandalism can be found in bathrooms, there is tons of writing on the stalls and even wet paper towels stuck to the walls. Many kids don’t actually realize the harm in what they are doing though. Tons of money is spent each year just to keep the school in good condition. Vandalism is costing the state’s public schools $17.7 million a year, according to a survey by the New Jersey School Boards Association. All this money could go to buying better computers, funding sports, and school programs.  A school filled with defacement of property can feel unsafe and unattractive to those around it. 

Vandalism can also have very serious consequences for the students involved. First of all, you’ll probably have to talk with Mr. Meredith and administration about what you have done. Depending on the level of vandalism, you can even be given criminal charges too. Colorado law states that those under 18 years of age are charged and tried in the juvenile justice system. Juvenile offenses may be punished with restitution, fines, probation, or diversion. 

Vandalism isn’t something that is always easy to fix, but there are ways to prevent it in the first place. Students need to know how important it is to take care of each other’s property because when someone vandalizes the school, they are ruining the learning environment for others as well as themselves. Teaching kids to take care of their belongings and rewarding them for doing so is a great way to make sure vandalism doesn’t continue happening. When students do vandalize school property, forcing them to make sure the mess they made is cleaned teaches them a lesson. No kid wants to clean bathrooms or wipe down floors which will ensure they don’t do it again. Donating your own time and effort to help clean and repair the mess helps give more time and money to other causes. 

Vandalism is a big issue here at Sierra Middle School and fixing it may take some time, but if everyone pitches in we can stop it and keep our school clean.