Mother pays for son's graffiti


Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Elaine Dufoe, Grade 8


Imagine coming home late after work, tired and stiff, when you notice that your hallway is covered with profane, disturbing graffiti.

That's what a 16-year-old boy did to his apartment building. Because of that move, he and his mother have been ordered to leave the building and pay to re-paint the graffiti covered wall -- and so they should.

This woman was rightfully kicked out of her apartment because her son was responsible for the graffiti in the building. And she is responsible for her son, just as a pet owner is responsible for his or her pet. If a dog bites a person, the owner can be sued or charged. Her son's actions reflect on how he was brought up and how he was taught and so she is just as much responsible for the damage as he is.

For another thing, she knew about the graffiti in the beginning and never said anything about it. She failed to fess up and admit that her son did the damage. She, the older and more mature person, kept quiet while her son showed a complete lack of respect for the building and the people in it.

The apartment owners have a right to kick her out of the apartment. As pointed out during the trial, and reported in the Toronto Star, "Graffiti creates an atmosphere of degradation," said the Ontario Court, general division judge. And without a doubt, the other people who live in the building weren't pleased with the graffiti. If a tenant vandalizes a property (which is obviously what graffiti is) or disturbs other occupants in that building, then that person can be forced to leave.

We live in a society based on democracy. And in this case, there were only two people out of a whole building who didn't seem to mind the graffiti. Therefore, they are the ones to move out, because -- let's face it -- the majority rules.


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