‘At-Risk’ Teens Produce Interesting Artwork As Teacher Aims To Reduce Graffiti

It appears that this California teacher has truly reached his students.

In an effort to avoid doling out detentions for graffiting at the alternative high school where he teaches, Reddit user RedPenVandal allows his students to draw at their desks. The doodles, which he posted in an album on Reddit, are both beautiful and inspiring.

In a Reddit thread, the teacher explained how he works at a high school for “at-risk” students, meaning his students were previously at risk of not graduating from their regular high school. Many of his these students, RedPenVandal wrote, have been in trouble with the law or have children.

He allows them to draw at their desks upon finishing their classwork, and he often posts the drawings on the walls of his classroom. The drawings, which include images of skulls, drug paraphernalia and aliens, display the talents of budding artists who may not have previously had a constructive art outlet.

“It gives them a sense of pride in the classroom, and it acts as their version of an art gallery,” RedPenVandal posted on Reddit. “During downtime sometimes a couple kids will just stand there looking at the pieces and comparing lettering styles, etc.”

Reddit users lauded the teacher for his dedication to his students.

“Thank you for having the sense to foster their artistic prowess instead of trying to repress it,” wrote Notanobelisk.

“You sound like a really good teacher. Please keep it up. Creativity can be a gateway to a productive future,” wrote PlanningParty.

At the same time, doodling could positively affect more than just RedPenVandal’s students’ creative senses. A 2009 study suggests that doodling actually improves memory.

View examples of the students’ artwork in the slideshow below. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section.

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