Monday, July 14, 2008

Cleaning up graffiti at Five Dock primary school

My graffiti photographing expedition last week took me past the front entrance of Five Dock primary school, which is located on Henry St.  I noticed 3 or 4 tags around the entrance that were visible from the street.

I made a closer inspection today and counted a dozen in total, most of which were in the entranceway proper and not visible from the street.

Since we live close to the school, a teacher door knocked the street last year and gave us a fridge magnet with the phone number for the 24 hour schools security unit - 1300 880 021.

I finally got around to calling them today, and reported the graffiti.  The response from the bloke at the security unit was that he would "tell the patrols to keep an eye on that area".

I asked him what he was going to do about getting the graffiti cleaned up before the kids go back to school next week.  I could feel his shrug of indifference down the phone line - that was not his responsibility.  It was somebody else's problem.  He wouldn't even pass that info on to the Department of Education.  That was up to me, and assuming I didn't bother, he was relying on the cleaners turning up before the kids, and the cleaners spotting it and dealing with it.

I guess the security unit is a contracted out security company, and they are presumably quite divorced from the Department - especially whoever is responsible for school maintenance.

So I followed up tonight by having a look at the web site for the Education Department - or the Department of Education and Training, as it likes to be known.  I managed to find the contact details for Five Dock primary, but being the holidays, no one was answering the phone.  I have emailed them, but I don't hold out much hope of anyone checking the school inbox during the holidays.  

I happen to know the President of the P&C, and so I also told him about it.  He couldn't do much else, as the Principal won't give him her mobile phone number, so we can't contact the one person who really should be responsible for getting the ball rolling to get this fixed.

When I was looking for the contact details of the school, I did a search on the Department's website to see if it had a policy or procedure on how and to whom to report graffiti.

No such luck.  

Let's see if the graffiti has been removed by Monday morning next week......

And to cap it off, going to the website of the school and clicking on "contact us" caused my browser to crash.

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