Last week a school was shut down for a day in Deer Lake because of vandalism. Someone spray painted parts of the building and workers had to use cleaning agents that caused odours to circulate into the building, possibly through an open window.
Some happy students received a day off but what’s not so great is that someone out there is still doing these kinds of things with no thought whatsoever to the future
It serves no purpose to deface a building. Human beings do a lot of things that serve no purpose in the 21st century. But it’s one thing to read a humourous website or text mindlessly with a friend. It’s another to actually cause damage to something that belongs to all of us.
We all should be outraged. That’s a publicly-funded school building that was defaced. We all pay for it through our taxes, it belongs to all of us. Not only did we pay for it, we also paid to clean it up, letting the perpetrator off scot free.
The students who missed a day were ripped off too. That day they were off could have been one in which someone may have discovered her favourite author. Another may have figured out a math problem he was having trouble with — who’s to say?
Flashes of genius don’t come around very often. It’s bad enough getting interrupted by the weather. Interrupting the process with stupid behaviour costs all of us. That might have been the day that someone was inspired to get into sciences, setting him or her on the path to curing cancer. Perhaps someone would finally understand math that day and in 20 years be part of a space program, stepping foot on another planet.
Is it a stretch to say that cancer won’t be cured because of some vandalism in Deer Lake? Probably. But ask yourself this. Where were you when you figured out what you wanted to do with your life? Chances are, you were in school. Imagine if you weren’t there on the day that a guest speaker was supposed to be there, talking about how much he loves writing or engineering. What if the day you discovered your art talent or your love of history or the outdoors didn’t take place because someone pulled a fire alarm? Or you couldn’t go to gym class to discover basketball because someone thought it would be really funny to destroy the hoops and backboards? Goodbye future pro-contract.
The point is, if you interrupt a student’s day, you have no idea what disappears from the student’s future. Whether that student eventually collects Employment Insurance or plays cello in a professional symphony could very well depend on how much spray paint is used on our buildings today.