dealing with vandalism by off-site teens
From: Robert Heinich (
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 18:12:49 -0700 (PDT)
Sat night,  22Oct2005, our Common House street-side porch was vandalized with 
vulgar graffiti (e.g., ?F* Eno Commons?) and some of the houses? roofs and 
siding were hit with bricks.  After the discovery of the vandalism Sunday 
afternoon, we called the police and painted  the graffiti over after the police 
made their report.

A couple of members got the message to certain suspects that they ought to come 
clean.  Sunday evening two off-site teens admitted guilt to a member of the 
community they trusted.

Monday evening we had a very well-attended salon with the ttwo teenage boys and 
their parents.  The kids admitted their guilt.  The community talked with the 
boys, the boys talked, their parents talked, and then the boys and parents left 
and the community talked.  

Community members at the salon decided not to allow the boys on the property 
until further notice and uninvited them from our upcoming EnoWeen celebration.  
(The brother of one of the perpetrators is still invited to our event and 
allowed on the property.)  We scheduled a salon this Sunday to decide what the 
consequences should be.

Unfortunately, there has been an update since the meeting.  We discovered that 
the hood of one of our neighbors? truck was also vandalized.  Obscene words, 
including ?F* (member?s first name)? have been scratched into the hood of the 
truck.  The boys did not mention this act at Monday?s meeting.  

I am interested in what other communities have done when they have had 
vandalism by off-site teens and whether any other community has banned a child 
from their community.  (I checked the Cohousing-L archives with no success.)

Some background:  Eno Commons is a suburban cohousing community within the 
(Durham, NC) city limits.  Houses were built on  a street adjacent to Eno 
Commons.  The kids from that neighborhood come to ours to play basketball in 
our plaza, hang out, play with our kids in our meadow and occasionally are 
invited to join us at our community meal.  Although we have mixed feelings 
about allowing these kids to be here unsupervised and occasionally grow weary 
of reminding them of our rules (e.g., helmets while riding bikes), we try to be 

If you need more info, let me know.  We look forward to your feedback and 

-Robert Heinich
 Eno Commons Cohousing
 Durham, NC

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