Teaching Vandalism

It came to light, in a local daily, that the City of Tucson is funding a gaffiti class. That’s right, taxpayer money is being spent teaching children how to spray paint walls. In fact, Regina Romero earmarked $8,000.00 for the project.

Most of the City agencies involved have been scurrying to find excuses, most of them are some form of “Well, we heard of the project, but had not considered or approved it, and suddenly it just happened.”

Regina Romero was the only one in the article that was either gutsy, or stupid enough to defend the program. She apparently asked a bunch of kids what they wanted to do, they said they wanted to do graffiti, and here we are. She actually said, “Who are we as adults to judge what the youth are interested in. We’re reaching kids that wouldn’t otherwise take an art class.” The answer to her question is in the question itself – WE ARE THE ADULTS. Is it not a the role of the adults in our community to guide children regarding their intrests and behaviors?

If the children said that they wanted to deconstruct buildings with fire, instead of vandalize building walls, would Ms. Romero be saying, “Who are we as adults to judge what the youth are interested in?” Would she earmark $8,000.00 to set up structures in the TFD training facility that the children could learn to burn down in a creative and educational way? Would City officials say that the purpose was to provide a place for kids to burn buildings safely so they would not go out and do it illegally?

When I was in High School, some progressive parents would let their kids drink in their houses. They thought that it would be better for the kids to do it under supervision, than out on the street somehere. It did not take long before they realised that their tacit acceptance of under-aged drinking led to a dramatic increase in the activity, and we kids did not limit it to the relative safety of their homes. The vast majority of parents already knew supervised under-aged drinking for the disaster that it was, and the progressive types came to that understanding in short order.

Hopefully, Ms. Romero will learn what some of our parents learned the hard way. It will, of course, be harder on the children who are recieveing mixed messages from those in authority.


Don’t forget to read my latest article that ran in the Tucson Weekly, and Inside Track:
http://tucsonsammy.com/tucsons-modern-streetcar-project/

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