Stamping Out Vandalism: Greely’s Response to Bathroom Graffiti

Fifteen incidents of bathroom vandalism occurred last year

Ranger Review Staff

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Following the first case of vandalism in student bathrooms of the 2019-20 school year, the administration is taking steps to cut down on the defacing of school property by giving teachers a new role: bathroom monitoring. This new role requires each teacher to check an assigned bathroom at least once a day.

Greely teachers and staff were asked to randomly monitor the bathrooms throughout the school after an incident in which an ink stamp that showed “Trump 2020” was found printed on the walls and urinals of the men’s English wing bathroom. Though the ink was easily erased, the custodians had to take time and energy out of their work day to clean up the bathroom. 

Assistant Principal Don Gray made it clear that there could be several reasons students might vandalize the bathrooms.

“I think sometimes they’re with a friend and they think it’s funny,” Gray said.  “Some are also angry and want to do something about their anger.”

Vandalism not only looks bad, it comes with a certain cost both for the school’s culture and for the school financially, Gray said.

“Now you’re talking about the wage that you’re paying someone to do the [cleanup],” Gray said.

Custodians encounter varying degrees of bathroom vandalism. Some incidents just require a couple of hours to clean up, but sometimes the damage is more time-consuming to fix.  Don Foster, Facilities Director, said in those cases special equipment  has to be used and bathrooms can end up being closed for hours or even more than a day.

“In all these cases, it is taking people away from their regular duties of cleaning, making repairs, etc.,” Foster said.  “It is very distracting to those who need to use the bathroom and to those in adjacent classrooms when the work is being done.”

Students gave insights as to why students might vandalize bathrooms. 

“I think mostly to get a kick out of it. For a laugh or a joke,” said sophomore Liam Sheff.

Senior Ella Normandeau echoed a reason many students expressed.

“Because they’re bored,” she said.

Mr. Gray wants students to take pride in their school by maintaining cleanliness in the bathrooms. 

“When it’s clean, it’s motivation to keep it that way,” Gray said.

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