Saturday, February 19, 2011

Building Fences

Some children standing by their classroom near one of the new fences.

We were having some problems with the garden. Just as the rose was in beautiful bloom, and before the tomatoes were even ripe, and as the habenero's were hanging from the bush, children from our school would steal them. They wandered into the garden at break time or after school. It was disappointing to the special education children who worked hard to grow the vegetables. It was disappointing to me. The principal and I made some general announcements about not stealing the things that are growing in the garden. We also talked to the children who were caught. But it didn't seem to make a difference.

I'm not really fond of fences. I love the old stone walls that separate property in Maine, but tall fences are barriers and seem unfriendly. Yet, we had to do something or all our work was in vain. I'd like to think that we could have just left the garden open and brushed off the stealing with the thought, "Well at least they are getting their daily vegetables." But the children who were taking things were probably not eating what they took. They just liked the thrill of picking the vegetables and getting something that someone might think had some value. I've come to think that without the fence we are "enabling" children who like to steal. It's kind of like leaving your front door open. So we now have a fence.

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