Addressing vandalism

Addressing vandalism I have to ask: Were any of you kids? If you were and never partook in any form of vandalism or raucous behaviour, surely you had peers who did, if not friends. Maybe you were wise enough to look down on such behaviour with some cons

I have to ask: Were any of you kids?

If you were and never partook in any form of vandalism or raucous behaviour, surely you had peers who did, if not friends. Maybe you were wise enough to look down on such behaviour with some consternation, but the point is that most people don’t.

As kids, we partake in these actions to learn that they are unacceptable. We have to test your limits. Explore our morals. That feeling of guilt most of us experience when torching a bench or breaking a window or smashing a bottle in someone’s alley usually grows and matures, as we mature, into ever-expanding moral frameworks that shape our character.

Believe me, further marginalizing youth and their civil disobedience will not bring an end to this moral exploration. Will not “stomp it out” as your disheartening advertisement in the newspaper claims.

Why don’t you grow up and learn to accept that we all have our follies. That you cannot pinch out the “problems” in urban place experiences, but rather have to deal with those “problems.” Ask yourselves: If kids feel the need to explore their boundaries and perform their ill-conceived tests of personal character or social acceptance next to your homes, is there something you can do, or something the city should do as a community to provide opportunities for these kids to experiment in more satisfying, productive character tests?

Because, trust me, if you actually manage to push them out with your aggression (more likely you’ll just end up with volatile backlash) their pursuits will continue regardless.

Personally, I would rather they not be pushed out of the support of the community, farther and farther into the margins.

Brian Oman


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