I try not to make this blog a vent-fest, but today takes the cake.
About a week ago, maybe 10 days, there was a theft at the girls' school. That particular theft had all sorts of bonus ramifications that means it affected lots of folks... and still has almost daily impacts on us.
Ya see, the marching band has ... well... band class during the last class of the day in lieu of P.E. Ordinarily, they bring their stuff to the room hey use for the instrument locker, trade backpacks for instruments, and board the bus to the field where they practice. Their stuff stays, moderately secure, the Instrument Locker (the room). The band wing is ordinarily closed, but not locked, so that those band members who are not in marching band can fetch their instruments after school ('cause the marching band folk don't get back 'til about 20 minutes after school lets out). But some [expletive deleted] individual thought it would be a good plan to rifle through all of the back packs and purses (which aren't allowed on the marching field or bus) while the kids were marching, and they took wallets and iPods and well over $400.00 in cash.
The result? a foreign exchange student now can't buy the laptop that would have enabled her to email her parnts. And the band wing is now locked before the last class of the day, and anyone needing to get an instrument either has to take it to their last class with them (which is no big deal for flute players -- but the bigger brass instruments ... well... it's a bit of a challenge), or wait until 25 minutes after school lets out to get it. This means that if they take a bus... they miss it.
Evidently, the rsult did not include informing all of the administrators of the problem. How do I know that? Well, today I talked to one of the assistant principals about another theft, and she was unaware of the band wing problem.
Let me repeat that. One of the assistant principals in the school was, or at least proclaimed to be, unaware of a theft at that school that involved over $500.00 in cash and property, and which has resulted in police reports and other law enforcement investigations.
Why does this sound like no systemic action was taken? Maybe because I'm hearing the echoes of this afternoon... and that "other theft" I mentioned above.
That other theft? Bookworm has been diligently selling candy bars as a fund raiser. When she went into her computer tech class today, she had sold 35 out of 40 bars in her box (her second one) at $1.00 each, and thus had a box with 5 chocolate bars and $35.00 in cash. Part 1 of that class has everyone in their seats at the front of the room. Part 2 of that class has everyone in the back of the room, behind a partition wall, working on their computers. They're supposed to leave their backpacks etc. at their desks. So, Bookworm put down the box, covered it with her jacket, and covered that with her backpack.... and went to the computers to do her work. When she returned, all the money was gone.
Even though I think she should have kept the cash on her person at all times, it's still truly disheartening to learn that a) someone stole from her DURING CLASS, and b) with the school having recently experienced a theft seems to have done nothing about increasing security somehow.
I know that $35.00 is a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of dollars involved in the band room mess... but the sense of betrayal, and violation is still pretty strong. How do you maintain a sense of being safe, much less any school spirit, when stuff like this happens?
So... I'm disgusted and angry. All I can do for Bookworm is replace the money she earned with our own money. I can't help her feel safer at school.
I really hope that whoever stole that money needs it more than we do... that it's going to buy dinner for his/her whole family for a couple of days.
I also hope that someday soon, I hear about an assembly at school devoted to protecting oneself from theft.... and maybe even on why theft really is more than just a prank.