What makes students want to destroy school property? Where is the disconnect between students and respect for school supplies? Schools are learning environments and vandalizing property has repercussions for EVERYONE in that school, including the vandal.
When I look at brand new computers, laptops, Chromebooks, or headphones missing keys, ripped apart, looking months older than they should; I am perplexed. Why would students want to destroy the very things that schools put into place to make learning better, more engaging, and more accessible for them? The only thing I can find, idealize, or project is that students are disconnected with their surroundings. If student feel like a part of their school, if they were filled with school pride, would they want to tear their school apart, little by little, piece by piece?
They take pride in their appearance. They take pride in their possessions. Have you ever seen a student picking the keys off of their own devices? No! As a matter of fact their cellphones are in pristine condition and dropping them or having technical glitches with them is enough to humble the most disgruntled of youth.
So why is it that they fail to care about the devices they learn on? Is it a lack of connection? Or is there an innate lack of care because they don’t OWN those devices, they are borrowed, they belong to someone else? Obviously the connection to the fact that vandalism detracts from taxpayers’ (their own parents) wallets is lost on the students committing these acts.
“Vandalism is a wanton and deliberate act for the sole purpose of causing destruction. Left unchecked,school vandals can turn a modern, well-maintained institution into a rundown,defaced property.”-Shaliny Linnie
What are some strategies school’s have deployed to reduce vandalism? Would going 1:1 deter vandalism, or would it open the door to more misuse? Do students even realize that the actions they are taking are vandalism and could result in fees or even severe disciplinary issues?
Dr. Kenneth Shore, a respected child Psychologist, suggests, “If the damage is such that a parent must pay for it, you might suggest –depending on the student’s age — that the parents find a suitable way for the child to work off at least a portion of the cost.”
I firmly believe that students who feel connected and invested in their learning environments will think twice about vandalizing school equipment. I’m glad our school has chosen to focus on DOL 1 strategies and making connections to our students. Time will tell if an increased connection to our school and the adults inside this building results in a reduction in vandalism.