School wants eyes on graffiti

Graffiti that appeared on the walls and windows of Panorama Elementary School in Daly City over the weekend is prompting the school to consider installing video cameras.

Newgraffiti has been on the school’s walls every few weeks since the beginning of the school year, school officials said. The school has already run up a $1,500 bill for graffiti cleanup since August, said Stephen Waterman, superintendent of the Brisbane School District, which presides over Panorama Elementary.

“I’ve been here for 15 years and we go through stages,” Waterman said. “It happens regularly for a while and when kids grow up it doesn’t happen for a while. But then a new generation of graffiti artists grows up.”

The school has installed better lighting in hopes of preventing furtive graffiti artists. However, the lighting has not had any effect.

“They are either quiet or people that have seen them are not talking,” Waterman said. “It’s depressing to the school community.”

Despite the recent graffiti, Waterman has expressed reservations about installing cameras.

“It’s intrusive to have video cameras and people are out there for perfectly innocent reasons too,” he said.

Daly City police Capt. Mike Edwards said he disagrees, saying he sees the cameras as a boon to preventing any further defacement of school property.

“It’s usually the expensive measures that help the most,” he said.

The graffiti at Panorama Elementary often contained initials and curse words, which have to be removed before students in the K-5 grades show up to school, teacher Rose Bly said. The graffiti was spray-painted onto the school’s walls, windows and fiberglass paneling, where it is especially hard to remove.

“It’s a hassle,” Bly said. “The costs are starting to get higher, because we have to repaint walls every other weekend.”

Daly City police are investigating the incidents and working with the school to prevent future

defacement.

svasilyuk@examiner.com  

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