Teens Sentenced to Read After Vandalizing Schoolhouse

Books have always been a way of instilling great knowledge and allowing others to sympathize with another culture or point of view. Recently, this has been put to the test when a group of five teenage boys were caught vandalizing a historic schoolhouse in Ashburn, Virginia.

The boys wrote “white power” and drew explicit pictures as well as swastikas on the Ashburn Old School, a building that opened in 1892 designed to give black children an education after the Civil War. As punishment, they are being required to submit book reports from a pre-approved selection of titles news station, WUSA reports

County prosecutor Alex Rueda, daughter of a librarian, sentenced the five vandals to read 35 books from a list which includes authors such as Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Khaled Hosseini, and many others. The list aims to expand the minds of the young men about topics such as racism, gender equality, war, and religion.

Image courtesy of Ashburn Old School Rehabilitation

On top of this, they also are required to visit the Holocaust museum, the American history museum, write a research paper, and watch 14 movies that also are meant to encourage them to recognize the severity of their actions.

“Hopefully, what they get out of this year is a greater appreciation for gender, race, religion, bigotry. And then when they go out in to the world, they are teachers,” Rueda said.

To see what’s on their required reading list, you can look over all 35 titles and their authors here and see which ones you’ve read.


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