Barrington Middle School Student Advocates Against Vandalism

By Payton Madill

Payton Madill is a student at Barrington Middle School and is working on an FCCLA National project, which is about advocating about choosing a community issue. The issue chosen was vandalism.

What is Vandalism?

Vandalism, most of us have seen it and some have maybe even committed the seemingly small crime. But what is it exactly? Vandalism is an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. The term also includes criminal damage such as graffiti and defacement directed toward any property without permission from the owner.

Talking to Local Authorities

When local law enforcement officer Steve Billor was asked how he and his team combat the crime he said, “When we are patrolling, we are obligated to look around the area for vandalism since it is a crime. Most of the vandalism we see is gang related activity.”

Effects on the Community and Environment

When you see a piece of vandalism what is the first thing that comes to mind; is it positive connotation or negative? Most likely it is a negative opinion toward the affected community. A majority of people who have seen graffiti think that it’s a harmless thing, but in actuality it isn’t. Vandalism can lead to much more serious crimes and can also make a community seem like a bad place as well as damaging the earth around the area. To add to this, spray paint has seriously damaging chemicals that can have a deadly effect on plants and animals. As a result, this could lead to an ugly appearance as well as animals possibly dying off or forming a mutation in that community.

Thoughts from a Business Manager

Local general manager Sherry Bachelor shared her thoughts on the subject she knows way too much about. “I personally think vandalism is a senseless crime. The simplest act of vandalism can have a lasting effect on others. It’s very costly and time consuming to clean up.” Bachelor has had to clean up vandalism multiple times throughout her career.

The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty

Vandalism can be a good thing as well. Graffiti can be consensual between the artist and the property owner to draw customers into their business, although most of the time though it is being used to deface the property and draw away customers.

Project Goal

Our goal for this is to try to decrease the amount of vandalism present in our community and possibly stop it all together.