To the Editor:
As a new Hinesburg resident, the Bissonette Fields vandalism was an upsetting and unsettling introduction to this town. It was disturbing to realize that even a beautiful community like Hinesburg can fall victim to senseless vandalism.
In a recent article discussing the community reaction to this vandalism, there was a suggestion that this unfortunate event should be used as a learning experience and as a lesson of personal responsibility instead of pursuing the matter criminally. Had those responsible voluntarily come forward after the incident, acknowledged wrongdoing, and provided a plan to make the community whole, perhaps. But they didn’t. Instead, whoever did this has decided to “lay low,” hoping to avoid identification and arrest. If contrition is the first step toward rehabilitation, they haven’t displayed any post-offense behavior that warrants compassion or second chances,
This incident wasn’t your garden-variety teenage impulsive behavior. It was major vandalism of public property. The consequences should be more serious than merely offering the community a heart-felt apology. This can still be turned into a learning experience. However, considering the seriousness of the conduct and the number of people victimized by their actions, the appropriate classroom should be a courtroom and the lesson plan should be an indictment.