Philomen Wright High School, across the river from Quebec, has taken a positive step to cut down vandalism. The idea, which came from a California high school, has been adapted by the principal, David Bates.
Start by estimating the yearly cost of vandalism -- at the 1,200-pupil Philomen Wright, that was $16,000. Give the student council $200 for each $1, 000 saved, with an $8,000 maximum for the first six months.
To encourage the students, a 2 percent bonus was added to each $1,000 after the first $1,000 saved.
At the end of six months, the saving for the school district was a very encouraging $5,800 which gave the students more than $1,000.They will use the money for a sound sytem to be installed in the cafeteria and the student lounge.
When the check was presented to the president of the student council, newspapers from both Ottawa and Hull were there, giving the award an added impact.
Principal Bates explained the tender beginnings of this idea: "It needs to be carefully nurtured. Everything depends on how it is presented. In the initial year, particularly, you need to have a student body that is really sold on the idea. We placed a lot of responsibility for this plan on the shoulders of the student council and then let them be the ones to benefit from the success."
School authorities said there was little policing by adults; rather, the students were the ones to offer a restraining hand, and have already begun to talk about how to use the next six months' funds. They are thinking of redecorating the front lobby.