A Colorado teenager is facing prison time for defacing a fragile national monument in pursuit of a poorly-thought-out “promposal,” KDVR-TV (Denver) is reporting.
Every spring, the media runs stories of so-called “promposals” – that is, a portmanteau of the words “prom” and “proposal.” Sometimes, they’re cute beyond words; other times, they’re brave, such as when a bullied LGBTQ youth asks another LGBTQ youth. Other times they’re, shall we say, questionable.
Such is the case with the unknown teen who thought it a good idea to spray-paint his promposal on some rocks. That would have been well and good, but for the fact that those rocks are in Colorado National Monument. For starters, those rock formations are hundreds of millions of years old and are nothing short of a natural wonder. For another thing, the National Park Service takes a dim view of vandalism. Even well-intentioned vandalism.
It appears that Ranger Frank Hayde took the pictures of the vandalism. He says he took the snapshots after being made aware of the vandalism, which was reported to the National Park Service on May 24 (right in the heart of prom season).
So far, authorities have no suspects in this case, but they’re hoping the vandal will come forward. If he does come forward, Hayde says the Park Service might just be a little more lenient – and authorities are assuming it was a young man, since culturally it’s generally the boys who ask the girls to prom. If he doesn’t, he could be facing a find of up to $5,000 and up to six months behind bars.
Meanwhile, the graffiti is still painted on the rocks. That’s because preservationists need to make a careful inspection of the damage to make sure the situation isn’t made worse when the vandalism gets cleaned up. There could be faint paintings or rock carvings underneath the spray-paint, and authorities certainly don’t want to damage those.
City of Boulder’s Ranger Operations Supervisor Geoff Jasper says that vandalism of Colorado’s natural beauty if all too common.
“It is incredibly frustrating. We know that most people come here, and visit the parks because of their natural beauty, or habitat or the natural qualities that the park has, and then seeing something like graffiti or vandalism, it really detracts away from the beauty of the park.”
Yahoo Lifestyle writer Hope Schreiber has a suggestion for any youngster considering what to do for their promposal: “Most people like cookie cakes, for instance. Just ice up one of those bad boys with ‘Prom?’ instead.”