RESPONSE: Accusations of vandalism unfair to teens

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column comes from Connor Boudreau,  a Grade 12 student at Sacred Heart High School.  We invited him to submit it in  response to an article published last week, ‘Bored teenagers’ excuse is getting tired’

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One thing that I particularly like about Stittsville is the scenery. Whether it be the glorious water tower or the many serene parks, there is little doubt in my mind that Stittsville is one of the best places to live. I consider myself fortunate to live in Stittsville. The schools are first rate and my working relationship with my peers have often evolved into enduring friendships.

With that being said, I have noticed that teenagers have been blamed, sometimes rightly, for a recent increase in vandalism in the Stittsville area.

Unfortunately, most times these “hooligans” are able to slip away into the night without being seen, much less identified. This has, in my opinion, caused a mild case of hysteria amongst Stittsville’s adult population. In multiple online posts I have read of people becoming concerned, if not frightened, when they observe teenagers around their homes or in public places.

To make matters worse, some videos have been circulating recently that supposedly show “teenagers” fiddling around with cars in an apparent attempt to burglarise them. What is noteworthy about the aforementioned videos is that the handful of them that have surfaced span several years and do not conclusively prove that the wannabe thieves are indeed teenagers. This, again in my opinion, equates to fearmongering.

The purpose of me writing this is to remind people that if teenagers are to blame for these harmful antics, that they constitute a very small minority of us. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the same group was behind the vast majority of the reported incidents.

I have also heard comments along the lines of “some bad apples taint the rest”. This reaffirms my opinion that the teenage population of Stittsville as a whole has suffered a damaged reputation as a result of the actions of so few. It seems to me that it is a lot easier for the adult population of Stittsville to focus on the negative actions of very few instead of the positive actions of our teenage residents which go unnoticed.

I would like to end by saying most of us teenagers and our parents are active members of the community that don’t condone this type of behaviour. I can only hope that in time the vandalism will subside and the reputation of teenagers will recover. That is my most fervent desire.

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2 thoughts on “RESPONSE: Accusations of vandalism unfair to teens”

  1. Around 5 years ago Bells Corners had a issue with vandalism people wanted to play it off as kids being kids well it went from minor vandalism to major ones such as tainting gas and now we have a huge issue with serious crimes such as break and enters/assults etc.

    Am I saying its just kids of course not what I am saying is because the community did not take it serious at the time it is now out of control and maybe if it had been dealt with we would not be we are now.

  2. What a well reasoned and well written response. Thank you Connor for putting this all into perspective. I know many teenagers in Stittsville who represent the best that we could ever hope to expect from our youth. I only wish more focus was put on them and not the very small minority who are vandalizing our community. Let deal with the kids who are the problem appropriately and not panic that every teenager is a criminal in training.

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