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Prevention and Participation in Schools to tackle vandalism.



Vandalism in schools is a chronic and persistent problem, most often found during the teenage years. It can manifest itself in a variety of forms, from graffiti on walls to destruction of property such as computers, leaving a potentially chronic impact on educational institutions and the communities surrounding them. However, beyond the material damage, the issue of vandalism runs deeper and requires attention and action from society, particularly the school community. It is not just about fixing broken windows or painting the walls or buying new computers - it is about addressing the root causes and fostering a sense of responsibility among adolescents.


To begin with, it is important to understand where such offending behaviour as vandalism is likely to stem from. The 3 main sources where vandalism comes from are the same as the sources of general teenage delinquency and they are, the family and any problems they face, the social problems that make up society and the influence of peers. It is also important to mention that most of the time a teen does not suddenly start vandalism in adolescence, delinquency usually has signs as early as pre-school and primary school, each time with different manifestations.This underlines the importance of prevention and approaching problems before they develop into more serious forms of delinquent behaviour, such as vandalism.


Often, however, dealing with incidents of vandalism in schools is addressed by taking measures to deter offenders such as the use of good lighting in school yards, the use of cameras and surveillance of school grounds. Although many times such measures may seem successful, they do not actually treat the 'disease' but the 'symptom'.

To address the phenomenon of vandalism in the school community the most important thing, as with almost all phenomena of teenage delinquency, is prevention.


Educational programs aimed at raising awareness about the consequences of vandalism and promoting respect for public spaces can be effective. In addition, creating a sense of responsibility and ownership by pupils towards their school environment plays a central role in combating adolescent vandalism. When adolescents feel a personal connection to their school, they are less likely to engage in behaviours that could harm it. Encouraging students to take pride in their school through initiatives such as community clean-up projects and mural painting not only beautifies schools but also enhances adolescents' sense of belonging and responsibility. Finally, the role of the state is also important, with the design and implementation of preventive programmes aimed at involving adolescents in extracurricular activities (e.g. arts, sports, environmental education) that stimulate their interest and develop their creativity.


Teenage vandalism is a complex issue with far-reaching consequences, but it is not unsurpassed. By addressing the root causes and fostering a sense of responsibility and belonging among adolescents, we can create safer, better school environments where respect and cooperation prevail.

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