Sudbury Catholic District School Board
October 23, 2006

Graffiti Eradication Campaign: Students Do Their Part to Clean Up the City

“Graffiti has long been thought of as a sign of urban decay. This leads to a societal belief that if an area is not properly maintained then no one cares about it,” says Sgt. Heinz Kuck, from the Toronto Police Service. There are a number of psycho-social consequences linked to graffiti such as decreased respect for authority, citizen fear and diminished use of public and private places.

The “Broken Window” theory describes how “the image of broken windows may cause a neighbourhood to spiral into decay if no one attends faithfully to its maintenance. If a factory or office window is broken, the passerby observing it will conclude that no one cares or no one is in charge. In time, a few will begin throwing rocks to break more windows. Soon all the windows will be broken and now the passer-by will think that not only is no one in charge of the building, no one is in charge of the street on which it faces. Only the young, the criminal, or the foolhardy have any business on an unprotected avenue and so more and more citizens will abandon the street to those they assume prowl it.”

With this in mind, students from three of the City of Greater Sudbury’s School Board’s in conjunction with the Greater Sudbury Police Service launched a widespread education blitz on Monday, followed by a massive graffiti clean up of the city. In addition, the Sudbury Police Service’s Community Response Unit and Crime Prevention Unit have been working with various teaching professionals to incorporate a ‘Graffiti Hurts’ and the ‘Adopt a Block’ Program into the schools’ existing curriculum.

The Adopt a Block program will allow the students to become agents of change in the Sudbury community. Through this program each school will be able to “adopt” a section of the city and under the supervision of their teachers, keep the area graffiti free by painting over existing graffiti and maintaining a graffiti free environment in and around their respective schools. This week’s launch of the “Graffiti Eradication” program is the first in a series of steps that will involve students throughout the community to keep the city beautiful and to nurture a strong partnership between the school and the community.

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