Sorry kids, but you’re just not mature enough.
The Town of Parry Sound has taken every step to remediate a vandalism issue.
Across from Parry Sound High School, where students congregate to smoke and chat and purchase items from the nearby convenience store, municipal staff has faced a barrage of costly vandalism.
So, the Town of Parry Sound took a respectful approach, rather than a condescending one, and spent taxpayer money, probably thousands of dollars if you consider staff time, making “The Spot” a welcoming place for teens.
Park benches and a cigarette butt bucket, and the experiment was underway. Treat the students with respect, as the young adults they are, and maybe they’ll treat public land and buildings with a bit of respect in return.
The result? More vandalism, including spray paint, and more litter.
Last week, when a member of the Beacon Star staff was walking into the convenience store at The Spot, one among a group of students shouted “don’t worry, we’re not punks. We won’t smash your windows.” It was a joke, with a few forced laughs from nearby friends, but the underlying message seemed to be, “don’t look at us as if we’re here to cause trouble, because you presume too much.”
Town officials went out of their way to presume the best, to avoid stereotypes and treat students, not as if they were punks assumedly looking for windows to smash, but as young adults.
Sure, a few bad apples can spoil a party, but among adults we have a peer system.
If we catch our peers doing something stupid, we stop them. Or at least, we certainly don’t laugh, encourage them, or join them.
At The Spot, whether it’s students en masse, or a few bad apples with no pressure from peers to behave responsibly, kids have cost taxpayers, including their parents, money. They have not responded with respect when treated with respect.
They have responded as punks.
Now they’ll once again face security cameras and cops.
It’s no one’s fault, but their own.