Re: Safe Schools Halloween Initiative
As you know, Halloween is approaching. We are writing to request whatever assistance you can provide to help us keep our schools and neighbourhood from being vandalized. In the last school year, the Surrey School District took close to $275,443.34 out of its budget (our taxes) to repair acts of vandalism. This money could have supported our students in many different ways. The Surrey School Board remains focused on reducing this expense. While we do our best to educate young people to convince them of the senselessness of vandalism, we are also looking for other ways to deter vandalism on our schools and in the area. One approach is to enlist our neighbours’ help to watch for anyone “hanging around” our schools, particularly after dark on Halloween. For many years, the school district has organized patrols of district staff (including trustees) in which small groups take shifts of an hour or two to walk around the grounds of the school. This small effort does a great deal to deter youth from even approaching our schools. Please help us out by keeping your eyes and ears open to any activity at our schools and don’t hesitate to notify us if you notice people milling about. If there is obvious, active vandalism taking place, please immediately notify police by calling 9-1-1. We also welcome your call to a special Surrey School District phone number set-up for Halloween at 778-776-9991 to report any suspicious activity so a security patrol can be dispatched. School vandalism affects our entire neighbourhood. Defaced walls or damaged property can be seen by everyone. News reports about such activity generate a public perception about our neighbourhood. Vandals allowed to congregate at a school typically spread their activities to neighbouring homes and vehicles. Vandals frequently choose to return and congregate where they have not encountered any deterrents in the past. Please join us as we demonstrate to vandals that they are not welcome at our schools, or in our neighbourhood! Thank you for your help.