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My classmates simply love doodling on the whiteboard. Using our class markers. Not only do I find it useless and annoying (it often causes chaos with what they write) it uses up ink. Just a week after we’ve bought the markers, they run out. A month later, the entire set is deprived of ink. My classmates never really listen and they always ignore any attempts to make them stop. Some, however, have made the effort to bring their own markers but nonetheless continue writing nonsense on the board.

Telling the teacher or scolding them doesn’t work. I hope that they would stop using our class property and stop causing chaos in class so that we can focus. How do I ask them to stop?

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    Why is them using the whiteboard your business? Are you somehow responsible for the marker wear? Is the cost of new markers a big issue in your area? – Benjamin Gruenbaum May 12 at 10:55
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    The whole class is responsible for the markers. We need them for other more important purposes, so I think that it isn’t fair that some people use them without thinking of the consequences. And buying markers is still a waste of money, and makes no sense to keep buying them just because some people are being inconsiderate. And it causes chaos. It is really noisy and some people cannot concentrate on their own work. – Osprey May 12 at 12:58
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    I assume they do this during break time? If its during break time, you can't really do much against them doing whatevery they want, as long as it doesn't break the law – XtremeBaumer May 13 at 6:55
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    Hey, could you specify where you are from? The answers might different depending of the country since culture is different from one country to another. – Ælis May 19 at 8:53
  • Can you also indicate what stage of schooling this is? – Dancrumb Jun 14 at 16:04
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Some, however, have made the effort to bring their own markers but nonetheless continue writing nonsense on the board

I think this is the key here. Your question title is about how your classmates are using 'class property', but they've brought their own personal markers. Now, you could make the argument that drawing on the whiteboard takes up space and time for the teacher to erase, but that burden falls on the teacher. The fact that they've brought their own markers means that they are no longer (necessarily) taking resources away from the classroom.

Ultimately, the decision is that of the teacher and whether they believe this behavior is impeding their ability to teach. If it is, the teacher will step up and acknowledge ("Who keeps drawing on the board?", "Guys, please keep it small", etc)

My reasoning here is that because it's school property, it is the responsibility of the teacher to act. If the teacher does nothing, I suggest leaving the matter alone.


Now, if you'd like to try and curb some of this behavior (I personally advise against it), what I suggest is take part. Bring markers as well, and help them doodle. Then, at the end, take it upon yourself to erase the pictures. You could even cordon off an area of the whiteboard for you all to draw.

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I'd suggest you ask yourself: how can I convince them to shift to a different medium?

My suggestion would be to try and engage them in doodling on paper sheets. Collect these, frame them nicely, put them against a breathtaking background, take pictures and instagram them for greater publicity. Also, consider advocating the importance of these forms of expressions with your teachers.

In so doing:

  1. you acknowledge the value of their creations, i.e. avoiding antagonisms
  2. you prevent the loss of their work due to erasing
  3. you save your school up to 15$/week of a box of non-permanent markers
  4. you may earn followers on Instagram, and strengthen friendship bonds with your colleagues.

It is also possible that if your teachers embrace the idea of doodling being part of a regular scholastic activity, it may become less interesting to your colleagues, and disappear altogether. It would be a loss, but it seems to me that you are already ready to bear it.


Inspiration: when oooOOOoooK was a student, some classmates were running a contest on who would manage to have the longest surviving tag on the school's front wall. Back then the janitors were quite efficient in covering every new piece of "art" with a coat of paint. Some of the graffiti even went as far as saying "what a beautifully freshly painted wall". Eventually one of the art teachers convinced the school to let some of the walls surrounding the parking lot for a project. These walls were concrete slabs of a dull grey color and students were invited to submit a proposal for how they would decorate them. Large paper sheets were made available throughout the school, and a big box was placed near the entrance by the janitor's post. The interesting thing was that the tagging moved from the entrance wall to these more secluded spot near the parking lot. Given that the chances of being caught were smaller, the artwork became more elaborated with time, and actually much more visually pleasing than a quick tag, to the point that no effort was made to cover it up by the school. Actually, at some point there was even a photo exhibition of the different artworks that had been appearing in the parking lot walls over the year.

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    This answer would be improved if you remove the references to a constitutional right to free expression. Doodling on the whiteboard could certainly be banned by the teacher or school without infringing on the students' rights. It's not applicable to this situation at all. The rest of the answer is good though. – Johanna May 13 at 8:50
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    Hey, I feel like your first paragraph could be hurtful to the OP. Could you edit it to make it nicer? Also, we don't accept "common sense" as back-up on IPS and we need more detail on why you think what you are suggesting would work. Did you (or someone you know) try it in the past and did it work? – Ælis May 13 at 10:46
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    Hi ooOOooK! I see you seem pretty interested in writing answers on IPS, but often just posting a one-liner at the end isn't sufficient back-up... We like to know what happened when you were a student and used this approach, for example. Take some time to read this meta that outlines how you write a good experience based answer, and perhaps go through your already posted posts again to see if you can make them better! :) – Tinkeringbell May 13 at 13:36

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