By Arena Phaphilom
Walking To School
This is a picture of the backside of a crosswalk sign near a school. This particular sign has tagging all over it. Youth, like those pictured in the background, see tagging and graffiti everyday, on just about everything. These days, it’s very hard to walk to school without seeing graffiti. Many youth join tagging crews to mark up street signs and other things in order to claim their turf. These tagging crews have brought so much violence between youth. Youth in tagging crews often quarrel with other youth in other tagging crews about their tagging names, turfs, and much more. If youth that joined tagging crews had better things to do with their time, they probably would not join tagging crews.
Broken Beer Bottle
This is a picture of a broken beer bottle on the sidewalk, just a block away from a school. Youth have to walk on sidewalks, such as this one, in order to get to school. It can be hard walking to school when there is broken glass all over the sidewalks. I’m not sure if this beer bottle was put there by an adult or youth, but this picture also shows that alcohol has become a big problem for youth and adults alike. This problem would probably not exist, or be this bad, if it weren’t for liquor stores. There are liquor stores that are in walking distance from schools. This problem wouldn’t be so bad if people really did drink responsibly. It’s hard to stop people from drinking, but we can teach them how to drink more responsibly.
This crosswalk sign serves as a warning to drivers to let them know that there may be children, youth or others crossing the street and to drive slowly because they are entering a school zone. It makes it safer for children and youth to cross the streets, yet there are still many drivers who ignore these signs and drive fast, which makes it dangerous. Some drivers, even upon seeing youth standing and waiting to cross the streets, still drive fast and ignore the speed limits in school zones. I don’t know what we can do about this, but I also just realized that there aren’t enough cross walks by my high school, Edison. I can only think of 2 painted cross walks.
This essay was produced for TheKnowFresno.org and is part of photovoice project for the Fresno Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment.