Vandalism is a serious problem in our schools. Mostly, students spoil school property by drawing graffiti on them. Here are my suggestions to fix the problem.
First of all, punishment is necessary. For the first offence, I recommend the culprit be required to write a letter to the school expressing his remorse. Repeat offenders should stay after school for one month to clean all the classrooms and playground. This will teach them a lesson.
Secondly, sometimes vandalism is a way for students to vent their frustrations and study pressure. Nowadays, there are very few places where it is legal to draw graffiti. Maybe schools can build a wall beside the playground for this purpose. Some "vandals" may even be talented graffiti artists.
Finally, schools should educate students about how serious the problem is. Maybe the vandals don't realise their behaviour could lead to more serious problems later on in their lives, so a timely talk can stop them.
Agnes Lee, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
From the editor
Thank you for your letter, Agnes. You've identified a seldom-considered problem in our schools and put some thought into how to fix it. Good for you!
A well cared-for school is something everyone can be proud of - officials, teachers, parents and students. There's something about an ugly school that is distracting. Scientists can probably tell you why, but if a school has a lot of graffiti, it changes the learning and teaching atmosphere. Students may feel they don't even want to be there, let alone learn there. That's why everyone should care what the property looks like and make it as presentable as it can be.
Any school that might not have a vandalism policy could use your suggestions as a starting point towards forming one.