by Lyndsay Larson
The University of California recently underwent a string of vandalism which seems to have been a targeted hate crime. Late on August 25, 2013, an unknown person had smashed in a series of car windshields, shattered campus windows, and wrote a racial epithet on a chalkboard in Dutton Hall which houses the financial aid, transfers, student judicial affairs, and veteran centers.
“Broken windows, broken buildings we can fix those. Hurtful speech in our community has a lasting, longer effect,” UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael told KCRA-TV.
Vandalism by definition is an action that involves deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. This means that people do this on purpose to get their point across, or maybe, no point across at all. Why do people vandalize?
Dr. Jeffery Chase, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychology professor at Radford University in Radford, Virginia noted that most vandalism is committed by juveniles. He says that many times people, especially children and adolescents, will use vandalism as a way to vent any frustration or anger or any other emotion.
Chase stated, “Vandalism is basically anger. It can be a displacement, displacement in the technical sense that is that the vandals wish to do something against a more threatening object or individual, so they vent their anger on something safer.”
Basically, Chase is saying that people can be too afraid to confront the problem with others face to face. Instead of sorting it out with that person or expressing their irritation, they go and damage something that is most definitely not going to disapprove or provoke their opinions.
It can also be a form of socializing in a gang or group. They gather together and spend time goofing off. Goofing off, for them, could essentially be the damage of other property. Owners of the property are understandably irritated and displeased with the destruction of their possessions and often only think that the kids causing the damage are unknown and brutal creeps that only want to harm others.
But that really is not the case at all. A lot of kids, as Dr. Chase stated before, simply have problems in their personal lives and feel that the only way they can get their frustration off their chests is to thrust a problem into someone else’s life. Citizens tend to connect those who do vandalism, to hard-core criminals, but it could be something that is difficult to cope with.
There have been small acts of vandalism here at Huntingtown High School. An interview with Mr. Swope, the safety advocate, revealed that this school has the worst problem in the bathrooms. Often times it will be marker doodles and words written all over the stalls and the walls. Sometimes there will be scratches gouged into the stalls. Other times, the paper towel dispensers will be ripped from the wall or have cracks.
Mr. Swope said that all vandalism does is inconvenience everyone. It inconveniences the people who have to clean up the damages and the students who use the bathroom but can’t when they are shut down for fixing. Swope stated that anyone caught has no choice but has to pay for the damages.
That is not the only form of vandalism. Believe it or not, many people may be doing it without realizing it. When someone drops litter on the ground that is a form of vandalism. A lot of students also like to draw on their friends belongings thinking, “Well, my friend won’t care,” but the truth is, it can be very irritating for them. Their personal belongings now have graffiti due to careless inconsideration.
Kids may be experiencing hardships in their lives but vandalism is not the answer to solving the problem. It is not a good way to spend time with friends either. If one has something troubling, the best things to do is to find someone to discuss and confess what’s wrong. That will always get better results.