Vandals turned Texas high school parking lot into hockey rink
WORLD / Texas, U.S. – Vandals have turned a parking lot in Texas into a sporting arena, and no one knows why.
The police are investigating the case of vandalism, even if the spray-painted hockey rink looks like a job painstakingly well-done. Click2houston.com reported the district believed it happened last weekend. “The red, blue and yellow paint lines are near the tennis courts, where students typically park their cars. The design, so intricate, it’s almost hard to believe it’s vandalism.”
Hockey rink in parking lot
School at Seven Lakes High begins on 25th August. The parking lot will be filled with cars in two weeks’ time. Several concerns include:
- parking demarcations are unclear for students driving into the lot, since the rink lies over some markings
- the rink markings may cause confusion for drivers
- it may tempt some to play hockey at the lot when cars are parked there
- more vandalism of school property will occur if the school decides to accept this rink, even if it was well-designed
It is unknown if the school will repaint the lot, and the costs involved. To school districts, such costs are a waste of resources – the money could be used to better school facilities or provide more students with financial aid. However to allow the vandals’ work to remain would send the wrong message to the vandals (that it’s okay to do what you like without regard for ownership), the students, and potential vandals (if they can do it and go unpunished, we can too).
The vandals identity is unknown, but with such intricate and detailed artwork, it is definitely not Justin Bieber’s doing.
Punishment for vandalism
Street art and graffitti can be executed with great technique and inject great discourse and debate when done as an art piece on a literal canvas or designated locations. Without authority or approval, however, such works on public or private property is illegal. It could be that the vandals take inspiration from some of the world’s most famous street artists such as Banksy and King Robbo. Both are said to have never been arrested and their identities unknown (it is not known if they are the same person, or a group). Banksy has made millions of dollars with his works, while King Robbo passed away in July 2014.
When caught, the punishment depends on severity of the damage. The penalties for a conviction can include jail or prison sentencing, fines, restitution, community service and probation or parole. 20 years ago, in 1994, a U.S. teenager Micheal P. Fay was convicted, jailed, fined and caned in Singapore for vandalism. He described the bleeding from the caning to the New York Times as nosebleed. Fay was sentenced to four months in jail and six strokes with a half-inch-thick rattan cane on two counts of vandalism and possession of stolen road signs. The sentence was later reduced to four strokes.
In 2010, Swiss computer worker Oliver Fricker was also caned three times after he was convicted of breaking into a train depot and spray painting subway carriages in the city-state. In 2012, a 25-year-old Samantha Lo was charged for vandalism in Singapore but did not receive caning. She instead escaped with 240 hours of community service. It is not known if other countries consider judicial corporal punishment as a possible consequence of vandalism today.
Image credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Wiki
Note: Josh Lile took photos for SB Nation on the vandals’ work, you can view them here.
What do you think – should the school district pursue this? Should they repaint the parking lot or keep the hockey rink?