No one likes to be punished for something someone else did. People who vandalize the school are the reason why policies are created and negatively affect all students. With recent vandalism occurring in the boys’ restroom, the MACES faculty decided that all restroom doors must remain open. There is no defending the actions of the vandalizers, considering poor choices that led to anger amongst students who want to use the restroom in private.
Only one restroom is available on each floor, often leading to long lines of students waiting to relieve themselves, which is a situation that originated from troublesome teens who decided to smoke in the restrooms and vandalize the stalls.
Schools are an easy target because of how easily accessible some unoccupied spaces are. “School administrators may hesitate to report all cases of vandalism, break-ins, or arson because they view some as trivial, or because they fear it will reflect poorly on their management skills,” an article, School Vandalism and Break-ins, by Kelly Dedel, states. This suggests that not all vandalism gets reported, but it is usually the more severe forms of vandalism that gets attention.
Moreover, Vice Principal Jose Meza says, “It [vandalism] destroys the school in terms of physical well-being, so a school that’s destroyed, tarnished, or vandalized, affects the moral of everyone.” This essentially means that if one person vandalizes, it might create a domino effect and more students could follow.
The question administrators should be asking is: if the staff pays no mind to smaller forms of vandalism and makes a bigger deal of larger forms of vandalism, are they unintentionally giving the green light for students to deface property in less obvious ways?
The answer to this is no. ‘“In addition, youth may participate in school vandalism or break-ins in a quest for excitement,” claims Dedel. This suggests that despite activities offered to students, they still find the need to vandalize.
Fortunately, at MACES vandalism is not something that occurs often, according to one of the janitors, Gregorio Corral, who quickly takes care of it so that students do not get the wrong idea. “The only form of vandalism we come across is in the surrounding area. As far as in school in the last month, we’ve only gotten one form of vandalism in the boys restroom.”
In order to avoid vandalism in the future, according to Meza, “Personalizing the experience here at the school-site. If that’s done, it creates a greater sense of welcome and belonging for students.” No one can really predict when a student will deface school property though, or even why, but if there happens to be some type of vandalization in our school, students can text the MACES Anonymous Text Tip line at: (562) 567-7133.