Vandal Proof Wooden Sign Ideas Needed

I’m making some wooden table signs for a middle school library. The signs have a number on them for each table. Each sign is about 7 inches tall, and I need to make them immune to 11-13 year old students, who like to write on everything. The numbers will be laser etched into the wood.

Is there something I can apply to the outside of the signs that would make it difficult (if not impossible) to write on with pens, pencils, etc.? I considered a clear coat, but I wonder if there there is something better?

The signs are being made out of wood so they can’t be broken, even if dropped on the floor. Any other ideas are welcome!

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