Graffiti present a serious problem for educators. In the past, graffiti consisted of names and a heart, but the severity has increased over the years. The elevation of the seriousness of graffiti now includes bomb threats and bullying. As a result, it has become even more important to stop graffiti in schools. Despite the fact that it can seem a daunting task, there are several basic steps educators can take to eliminate graffiti from school grounds.
Lock the bathrooms in between class periods. Assign a teacher or staff member to sign in students each period. Check the bathrooms at the beginning, middle and end of the period for any graffiti. Teachers should report any occurrences if they are found immediately. Check the sign-in sheet to narrow down the list of possible suspects. Follow through with disciplinary action.
Ask teachers to check classroom desks at the beginning and the end of the class period. Assign students seats to make them more accountable. Report any sign of graffiti to an administrator at the conclusion of the class period. Oftentimes, hate crimes in the school can begin with graffiti in the classroom. Teachers must be diligent in checking the classroom and desks for any signs of graffiti.
Assign a security guard or custodian to check the grounds before and after school. Check the outside walls of the building first, but do not forget to check hallways and especially stairwells. If graffiti are seen, administrators should investigate. Use school cameras if applicable and question staff and students. If the grounds are checked daily, graffiti become more of a challenge for the student.
Assign seats or sections in the lunchroom. Make students accountable by knowing where they sit. Faculty or staff should check the lunch tables as soon as students are dismissed. If something is found, the lunch table or individual students should be questioned. Teachers should also walk around the lunchroom during the period to deter a student from engaging in negative behavior such as creating graffiti.
Create a checklist for teachers or staff checking the bathrooms to help document the presence of graffiti.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images