The first time graffiti appeared in a bathroom shared by middle and high school boys, the community was quite shocked. When the negative behavior continued despite administrator’s best efforts to stop it, many people became frustrated, including the students themselves.
One day, some student leaders came to the middle school principal and said, “The school really needs to fix this. What is the administration going to do?”
“Well, boys, this is happening when adults are not around,” the principal said. “And we are not going to punish everyone for the actions of a single person or a small group by putting in cameras or requiring hall passes to use the bathroom. That is not the culture of our school.”
The room grew quiet. “So what will happen?” said a student. “Because you’re right. This goes on when adults aren’t around.”
“But who is around?” asked the principal. The boys looked at each other, and then one said. “We are.” They each nodded in agreement. “That’s right,” the principal said. And soon after, the vandalism stopped.
+Student Coalitions are processing and resolving these kinds of challenges on +School campuses. To see Roberts Elementary (HISD)’s +Student Coalition in action, watch our 10-minute film, Raising +Children, Raising +Voices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZP-vqXgS8g. To read about the +Student Coalition concept and other fundamental +Works ideas, click here to download a PDF of our +School Community Guide: http://bit.ly/1tQZRPp.