Vandal on the Loose

By Kyle Arbiola, Antonio Nunez, and Tino Hernandez

Two weeks ago, early-rising zero period students on campus were presented with an eye catching surprise—unidentified vandals defaced walls on campus property. This consisted of inappropriate, graphic images which were showcased throughout various walls surrounding our school.

These images were seen graffitied on the English buildings and some eyewitnesses claim to have seen them on the wall of the new gym as well. We asked a young student, who preferred to remain anonymous, for her views and thoughts regarding graffiti in general and in regards to the situation. “Graffiti can be considered something indifferent yet it has its own beauty,” she emphasized.  After we informed her about the graffiti on school grounds, she replied “that’s pretty shocking to know that someone would do such a thing.” We went on to ask her what her thoughts of the culprit or culprits’ punishment should be: “They should be expelled or suspended,” she told us, “maybe even given probation.”

Graffiti is a form of vandalism that can result in major consequences—ranging from suspension to juvenile charges—for the “artist.” Those that draw graffiti can be fined for their damage. If the damage is over $400, they can be fined over $10,000, sentenced to a year in jail, or even both. If less than $400, they can be fined $1,000 or sentenced to six months in jail, but everything is based on what the American Juvenile Justice System thinks is appropriate for the damage that has been done.

L.A. alone has spent over seven million dollars dealing with graffiti and in 2014, data has shown that crews have cleaned up about 3.14 million square feet of graffiti. Now, the mayor, Eric Garcetti, has created a volunteer program to eliminate graffiti.

Not all graffiti is bad, as it is often used to convey poignant messages or give a plain wall a reason to be a spectacle. Famous artists, like Banksy, are well known throughout the graffiti community—they have generated quite a large following on social media and other social outlets. Although their identity is not known, we do know their view of society, Banksy uses the art of graffiti to convey his/her political and social commentary. For instance, the image below represents the cruelty of using child soldiers and the destruction of their youth, this being represented by the crayon bullets.

However you view graffiti, what happened two weeks ago was an act of vandalism—nothing more than absurd images and graphic language directed at our school. Whoever was responsible is still out there. Whether it was an adult or a child, they experienced no repercussion for their actions.
If anyone has information on the event, please anonymously Text to Tip (657) 229-1847.

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