What Do You Think?: Graffiti 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:19PM
Lynda Rae in art, drawing, graffiti, peer pressure, tagging, vandalism

What do you think about this scenario?

Mia has loved to draw since she was a little girl. It started with flowers and doodles on her classwork. Then, when she was 11, her dad was sent to jail and her mom was stuck working two or three jobs at a time to support Mia and her 9-year-old brother. Mia loves her mom and looks out for her little brother, but she is upset and blames her mom for her dad going to jail. Her pretty doodles started to turn into doodles of snakes and fire where spelling words should have been on the test. She started to write her name not in bubble letters, but in different designs, sharp angles. She’d write her name, her friends’ names on her arms and her legs, in permanent ink.

On her 13th birthday, her friends decided to “take her out” (i.e. cut school). To mark the special day, they went to a set of walls near the train tracks and her friends pulled out spray cans. They handed one to Mia and said, “Happy birthday.”

Questions for Discussion:

1. What do you think Mia should do? Do you think this is an easy or hard thing for her to do?

2. Do you know anyone, who, like Mia, loves art? What do you think is a good place for her to practice her art?

3. What do you think is the punishment for vandalism?

4. Mia seems to use art as an outlet for her sadness and frustration. What is your outlet?

5. If Mia chooses to tag a wall and is caught, how will her brother feel?


What Mentors Can Do to Help

Article originally appeared on Fighting Back Mentor Program Resource Center (http://mentor-center.org/).
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