Here’s the ‘messy’ truth about school vandalism

Vandalism is a very common problem at OHS, one that doesn’t seem to have a viable solution. If you have ever used a public restroom, you are guaranteed to come across a form of vandalism at some point or another. Unfortunately, our school is no different.  The custodial and administrative staff do a lot to try and prevent that, but it’s a two-way street; students need to up their efforts, too.

In any one of the restrooms you are guaranteed to see something wrong; paper towels thrown at walls, toilet paper holders ripped off of the stalls, hand-dryers broken, toilet paper everywhere except where it’s supposed to be, inappropriate writings on stalls, and the list can go on. Students still behave this way, in high school!

How often does vandalism occur in school? Assistant Principal Jason Buatte says, “We experience some type of vandalism in the building at least weekly”. Grade level does not matter when it comes to this behavior, seniors have done it as much as freshmen.

Gender also does not matter. “We see more vandalism in the boys’ restrooms than girls’,” Buatte says. “However, there has been a fair share done to girls’ restrooms as well”.

Naturally, those who are caught vandalising school property are suspended, the length of which depends on the severity. Also naturally, the person in trouble is responsible for the bill of repair.

It’s hard to understand why someone would purposely destroy something that doesn’t belong to them. “It is frustrating and costly,” Buatte said. “It also places a great deal of extra work on our custodial and maintenance staff..I know that many students would love to have upgraded and updated bathrooms.  It makes it tough to justify this when the current restrooms are not cared for and respected. Vandalism in the school is not specific to bathrooms, but it occurs there most often”.

Administrational staff would appreciate students reporting vandalism when they see it taking place. If the bathrooms were treated better, they would be updated and better. We can have nice things as a school, but at the same time, we must earn it.