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Dear vandals and the parents of vandals

May 21, 2011

End of the school year is always a tough time around our house. My husband looks after the physical security for one of the city’s school boards, and while many schools and the police are cracking down on tequila sunrise many students at specific high schools still have longstanding traditions of pranks and vandalism. Don’t think these pranks are harmless or cost-free. They have cost tens of thousands of dollars to remediate; to make the schools safe enough to enter, to make them usable for the 99% of students not involved, to allow the students to complete their school year. My husband works very hard to protect these buildings from the potential harm (and yes, this physical, predictive security has a cost). But then there are the random, unpredictable acts. The acts that start our phone ringing at 10pm and take the evenings, weekends and long weekends away from many families.

To last night’s vandals: You entered an east end high school while the staff was still on site and destroyed property. Your reckless behavior put the well-being of those staff at risk and you obviously have no regard for their personal time or investment into their job. You have managed, beyond the material damage, to ruin the enjoyment of this weekend for them, my husband, the families of the 8-person hazardous waste cleanup crew that have been on site since midnight last night, the custodial staff today and supervisors, glaziers (to replace the 7 windows that were broken) and purchasing (required for the contracts for disaster cleanup).

Now on to the material damage – I’m sure it was enjoyable setting off the fire extinguishers in the school, to such an extent that you couldn’t see an arm’s length in front of you, tagging the walls, breaking the windows to the broadcast room and stealing the turntable. Thanks to you the vending company will be on site on Tuesday to replace the glass in their vending machines. Would you like to hazard a guess at how much this one act on one night is costing the school board? This is money that is directly NOT going to education but to cleaning up the willful destruction by a few students. Yes this is necessary on a long weekend, the school will be made to look like you weren’t even there by Tuesday. Enjoy your bragging I’m sure it will take you far in life. (oh, and PLEASE make sure to do it on Facebook and to post your videos to YouTube. Please, I want to see just how fun this was.)

To the parents of the vandals: Did you wonder where your children were last night? What they were really up to? Did they return home bragging about this prank? Are they covered in the yellow dust from the fire extinguishers? Dust so thick you couldn’t see in the hallways, salty dust with a particular odor. Do they have a few empty cans of spray paint kicking around? Are their fingers tinged with black or pink paint? Have they recently ‘found’ some new AV equipment? Did the get it from ‘some guy’? You know who did this and now you know what they did and the impact. Are you going to man up or are you secure in your belief that everyone should pay for this damage? I doubt any of you will do the right thing, I don’t know what favours you think you are doing your children or what lessons you hope to teach them, and so I just want to wish you a happy long weekend, mine certainly won’t be.

This isn’t a victim-less crime. No I’m not going to go on about the people involved in the clean up again because the real victims are the kids the schools are supposed to be educating. How many books could they money spent here have bought? How much do you think the $500K a year this city’s schools spend on graffiti removal could buy? What about the untold fires, thefts, break-ins and mischief? What about the police and guards that are on-site after each of these events. They’re not free. Do you not think the police could be doing something better with their time than writing up these vandalism reports and chasing down your little punk-asses? Oh, and there is no magic money pot for this, these are funds that come directly from your pocket. That’s just one city. Think about that the next time you bitch about your taxes.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anita permalink
    May 22, 2011 8:19 am

    I hope you post this in the Citizen. It’s worthy of a guest editorial!

  2. May 24, 2011 3:58 pm

    sorry to hear that your family was affected by this stupidity. i wish parents were financially responsible for these sorts of things.

    hope you were able to enjoy the long weekend in some fashion.

    • neeroc permalink*
      May 27, 2011 11:58 pm

      It would be nice just to have them understand a small part of what they are actually doing. Thanks.

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