Who's Responsible?

As was noted in an update in my original post about our Designer Duct Tape Purses 

 http://angelsunafghans.com/blog/?p=50    (“Before” photos and detailed description)

–they were removed without our consent or authorization from the Display Case which is under lock and key and damaged during the decoration event for homecoming apparently during the evening of 10/6/2010.  Bear in mind that these were not something just tossed together but  were one of a kind original designs that required about twelve hours of work and were done with techniques that my daughter and I developed and have not seen elsewhere in this medium.  

Nor, is this an isolated incident.   Last year, a papier mache seahorse came home that had hung in the library.   It had fist marks that had been punched into it.  One would think that something might be safe in a locked display case–but no.  In some respects; this is no real surprise having a prior knowledge of where emphasis is placed at this school which seems to be based upon popularity and sports.  When my son graduated with honors (perfect 5’s in both advanced placement courses, believe he was the only one in his class accepted to Case Western and currently maintaining a 3.7 or above in his second year studying Aerospace Engineering) we all wondered what looked to be the highest rating of stars on the program symbolized.  Upon checking the key, we discovered it was for students who had a parent or parents that was an alumni.  WOW!  That still sets my brain reeling. 

Upon seeing the vandalism done to the purse and cosmetic bag when the items were brought home on 10/7/2010;  I immediately called and spoke to the school Vice Principal who said this was the first that she had heard of the incident and asked me what she should do as they were now already damaged.   It feels like this was just a psychological decoy that administrators use to try and placate callers without actually taking any action.  In an attempt to be civil;  I suggested a talk with the students about respecting property and respecting art. However; the time for this type of talk is LONG past and WAY too late if they haven’t already nailed down this basic principle in elementary school.  The bottom line is that this is an act of VANDALISM which should be dealt with as such.  And, I confess what I was really thinking while speaking on the phone is:   that what the adults who are supposed to function in a supervisory capacity **should** be doing is their respective jobs.

Now, I have a few additional points to ponder~

1.  Who gave out the key to the lock on the display case?  Why were the art projects not moved to another secure area under lock by an ADULT?

2. Was there any adult supervision during the decorating process?

3.  Who were the adults supervising? (Assuming there actually were some.)

4.  WHY are there no consequences for vandalism?

5.  Who authorized having live fish in small CUPS in the hallway as a “decoration”?  Are they in any way familiar with proper fish husbandry or respect for living beings?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldfish

Numbers Four and Five are my questions of primary concern.  If this incident is blown off as “Kids just ‘wanna’ have fun.”, exactly what is that teaching them as future citizens of the adult real world?  While schools can’t be arbitrators of morals and basic decency that **should** be taught at home; still they **should** be able to maintain some kind of control over students while they are in their charge.

Somebody NEEDS to be responsible.  The buck needs to stop.

As this blog entry goes to press; I’m left with the job of doing repairs for something that never ** should** have happened . . .

It  appears like someone swung the purse around by the handle.  The handle and holders are completely ruined and will have to be replaced.  In order to do this, some of the underlying layers of duct tape on the purse will have to be  removed and replaced.  This is not a simple repair job.

The cosmetic purse is bent in various places and appears to have had things JAMMED into it.  I do not know if this can be pressed out or if it is permanently ruined.  The cosmetic bag was put on display with the zipper open only half way and had tissue paper inside and slightly out of the top.  The tissue paper was not even recovered.

The camera does not adequately capture the damage to the duct tape “ribbons”  some of which were crushed and looks to have been “picked at”.

Close-up of damaged handle and handle holders.

“You may not always be able to turn up the heat and hit the boiling point, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the attempt. It’s what you’d advise others to do and it’s what we should teach our children.”

~Mac Anderson


Here’s what I’m left to deal with and rebuild.  The entire back half of the purse which was a joint project (my daughter and myself) had to be disconnected, the glued in place velcro connector removed, and various layers of duct tape removed.  Suffice it to say that it’s a sticky situation (pun intended).

Although I searched extensively through the online Student Handbook last night; I could not find anything regarding vandalism done to other students work.  Either my eyes were over tired or else there’s nothing there. There was plenty regarding vandalism to school property and  I used ctrl f this morning on the word “responsible” which came up thirty times. The pdf document seems to deal a tremendous amount with parents and students being responsible and who isn’t responsible.  Interesting. I’m not sure if it was the motion of the computer shifting or the actual writing but it felt like a tennis ball match of words. It would seem that something additional needs to be put on the books and then actually be enforced.

I don’t know if the cosmetic bag can be salvaged or not.   It looks like I’m going to learn if you can press duct tape with an iron. This was my daughter’s solo piece; so I certainly hope that it works.

10/8/10 Afternoon

Kaitlin comes home with tissue paper that she was given.  I cannot believe it.   The reason that it was mentioned above in the blog was to illustrate that the cosmetic bag had been tampered with–not because I wanted it back.  Good grief.

She was called into the Vice Principal’s office and told that they didn’t know who ruined her art items.   So that’s apparently “it”?

I was under the impression that there were security cameras in the school hallways and entrance/exits.  The display case is in a hallway.  So, were the cameras not on?  Or what might they have shown?  I’ve yet to receive a reply from the various emails that I sent including those to the school board.


Kaitlin’s purse and cosmetic bag is accepted for the Gallery at Duct Tape Guys.



I receive a hand addressed envelope to my husbands’s nickname and myself with a typed letter inside from the Vice Principal.  Due to copyright laws; I  am not sure if it falls under private correspondance without any expectation of privacy or if it is not to be republished without written permission.  I’ll err on the side of caution and post a summation of the letter. Basically it says that they were unable to conclude who did the damage, they are reviewing procedures and offer compensation (as a statement but there is no actual offer).  The letter is gramatically correct but reads like a standard form reply that one might retrieve from a book of writing examples. 

I’ll leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusion . . .



Duct Tape Purse is now repaired.  http://angelsunafghans.com/blog/?p=337   The cosmetic bag is going to have to be totally redone.  Another job for another day.  This is especially a shame because the little bag was Kaitlin’s solo project.

Kelly Lynn Smith is a National Award Winning Stained Glass Artist and former member of the Professional Dollmaker’s Art Guild having been admitted at the highest entry level with a perfect score on her critiqued sculptures.  She has either written for or had original work in porcelain, polymer clay, and cloth published in every doll making magazine in the USA and continues to expand into various mediums~the latest being duct tape in conjunction with her daughter.