16 July 2012  Last night, the school sign was vandalized by miscreants. The police have been informed and they have inspected the site. As you can see from the photo, the perpetrators used spray cans of at least 3 different colours, and apparently did not bring enough to do more damage than they did. They entered through the new bridge by breaking through the temporary bamboo gate. On the same night, the school signboard of a government middle secondary school was also thoroughly defaced and had to be removed.  A college’s signboard was sprayed over. Apparently this has been the 4th incident there this summer.

In our case the damage is not significant and can be painted over. But the incident comes on the heels of a new push by the government and schools to more strongly address the unmistakable decline in youth behavior, particularly in the urban centres. What’s next, arson? Unofficial reports already confirm an arson attempt in another Thimphu school. In a society that is rapidly transforming, it is difficult to really predict what could be next and how soon.

Less than a week ago, it was reported that two students brutally assaulted a cook in a restaurant. The cook was able to grab a knife and ended the assault by stabbing one of the students (click here for another version of the story). This is no longer shocking. It is merely another incident.

Where do we go from here? It is not enough simply to learn to avoid certain parts of town at certain times of the night. With such a passive approach, those parts of town and the times to avoid them will only grow. Criminals, and students in particular, need to learn that there are consequences for their actions. It is important that the public do their part in identifying and apprehending mischief-makers of all types.  The police Chief bemoaned the almost total lack of public support in the recent stabbing incident and has now launched an initiative to engage not just the youth but members of the public as well, in a partnership program. This is timely. Our safety and the security of our property, is also our responsibility.

Do your part. If you have any idea or even the slightest suspicion of who might be behind this act of vandalism, if you are the seller of spray paint and recently sold spray cans of these colours etc, do the right thing and report it. You can make your report anonymously on this article’s comment space, or email the school at administration@pelkhil.edu.bt or call the Principal at 321235. Or you can also report it to the Royal Bhutan Police.

Thank you for your cooperation and support!

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