A local council in Australia might be going a bit too far in its battle against vandalism -- it has labeled children who draw on the sidewalk with chalk "graffiti artists."
It seems there is a cafe in the Melbourne suburb of Nunawading that is very family friendly. According to a report in the Whitehorse Leader, the woman who owns the cafe, Sally White, has been giving chalk to kids for the past year to draw on the sidewalk. White said the drawings are usually stick figures, scribbles, fish or pirates
It seems perfectly harmless, but an area resident complained and the Whitehorse Council ruled that it is indeed graffiti, and it must stop.
"No matter the age of the person, drawing on public property is considered graffiti," said Peter Smith, the Council’s general manager of corporate services.
Nonsense, say cafe regulars.
"I just think it’s petty (the complaint), it’s harmless and it’s letting the kids be creative and they love it," said Fiona Lawrie, whose son has drawn there.
White and her patrons are fighting back. A petition in support of the drawings has garnered 180 signatures, and White said the children were so upset by having their chalk taken away that she has decided to allow them to continue.
White said she would be willing to wash the drawings off each afternoon when they shut down or apply for some kind of a permit from the Council.
However, the Council said it would be obligated to issue a compliance notice if the drawing continued or if anyone else complains.