Editor's Note: The following was written by former "Briarcliff Bulletin" Editor-in-Chief Alexandria Gasperini. This editorial was initially published in the June 8 issue of "The Briarcliff Bulletin."
It appears that Briarcliff High School students have found a new way to amuse themselves over the past couple of months: damaging and knocking down mailboxes in the middle of the night. All over Pleasantville-Briarcliff Manor Patch, several reports have already been filed regarding damaged mailboxes throughout Briarcliff streets. Clearly, BHS students have strayed from typical extracurricular activities and instead are committing felonies.
One may ask, what is the objective of this activity? Students involved may claim that mailboxes are easy targets as they are very close to the road and little effort can be exerted as one can swing a bat at them from the window of a moving car. Maybe some students feel that this is the only way that they could improve their batting averages. Maybe some have too much time on their hands. Either way, this activity seems to be a trend that is really catching on.
But, although students may find this activity “funny” and “exciting,” many Briarcliff residents think otherwise. One could imagine the reaction of a Briarcliff resident waking up to get the morning paper at the end of the driveway only to find what appears to be dented-in mailbox hanging on a tree branch and yesterday’s mail scattered across the pavement. Choice four-letter words would be yelled and perhaps the morning coffee hurled into the street in a fury. Now plagued with the task of going to the hardware store to buy a new post and box, he or she wonders whether a steel plated version would be necessary.
Although BHS students may think that destroying mailboxes is “all in good fun,” they have obviously not realized the consequences of their actions. Interfering with the United States Postal Service is a felony and last time anyone checked, ripping off the box only to leave a post is, in fact, interfering with delivery of mail. The main federal law under which mailbox vandals are charged is Title 18, Section 1705 of the U.S. Code, which states that whoever willfully or maliciously injures, tears down, or destroys any letter box intended for delivery of mail and/or destroys or defaces the mail within can be fined or imprisoned for at most three years, or both.
The Briarcliff community is baffled and cannot seem grasp why BHS students would want to knock down mailboxes. Maybe students are so stressed from their school work that beating mailboxes to a pulp is the only way they know how to release pent up frustration. Perhaps they enjoy the thrill of thwarting the law. Possibly, Briarcliff students are just starved for things to do. They have abandoned their usual Saturday night entertainment and resorted to storming the streets with bats and shovels ready to annihilate any mailbox that crosses their path. But, then one has to wonder, when students become bored with this activity, what will be next?
Don’t follow the people who are making the wrong decisions; the only people benefiting from damaged mailboxes are the guys at the hardware store in town. Make positive choices; Briarcliff would want see a headline that reads: “BHS Students Off to College,” rather than: “BHS Students Off to Prison.”