By Carlie Evans
Locking up your stuff is a growing issue that has risen in schools across the country. Locally, at Fayetteville- Manlius High School, two women entered the building and stole from the girls’ locker rooms. Locking up your possessions while at school is free and easy. Why wouldn’t you do it? You have a secure locker all to yourself, and during Physical Education class here at Jamesville- DeWitt High School, the teacher provides you with a lock for $5 which you get refunded at the end of the year. “There are definitely people in the school that would steal,” said Jamesville-DeWitt High School sophomore Nathaniel Blakley. “It’s pretty black and white in my eyes— lock up your stuff,” said Physical Education teacher Cara Goldberg. J-DHS Assistant Principal David Nylen agreed with Ms. Goldberg. Yet, every year there are students at J-DHS who have their possessions go missing in the building.
Mr. Nylen said that smartphones are actually the most common item taken. “I would be most upset if my phone was taken,” said sophomore Diamond Cole. Why do students bring their electronic devices to school considering the risk of getting them taken? Junior Abby Shaw believes that it is okay to bring a cell phone to school because of the possibility of needing it during Activity Period for a ride. “Wads of cash aren’t worth it, though,” added Shaw. However, some students bring money because they order lunch. If it is absolutely a priority to do this, then students are encouraged to leave the money in their locker, rather than in the openness of a backpack. Ms. Goldberg agrees with Shaw, saying that besides a phone, other sensitive items like cash and tablets, seem unnecessary.
“Every year a handful of items are taken or go missing,” said Mr.Nylen. He said the most that he (and the administration) can do to keep this under control is to talk about locking up items at the beginning of the year in the opening meetings as well as having the PE teachers speak to their students. “According to the J-DHS Code of Conduct, students are not supposed to have electronic devices on their person during school hours (7:45 a.m.- 2:15 p.m.),” said Mr. Nylen. “If they have them in possession anyway, and they get taken, though we feel bad, it was unpermitted,” he continued. Mr. Nylen also emphasized using lockers during athletic practices, due to past incidents. “Face it, there are a lot of kids in the school that have sticky fingers,” said Shaw.
Yes, it can happen to you; this past Oct., 8 to 10 athletes on the Boys Varsity Cross Country team had their cell phones stolen. Senior athlete Isaac Tupper said that the XC teams would always leave their things in the Main Gym foyer during practice. “On that day, we had done what we always do, and went outdoors to run,” said Tupper. “When we came back inside, our phones were gone,” he continued. All the athletes that had their phones taken filed a police report, but they never received their phones back. “I didn’t think we’d get them back,” said Tupper. “Apparently, by the end of the day, the police had tracked my phone all the way to Buffalo,” he continued.
In addition, sophomores Stephanie Naples, Anna Pluff, and Jackie Rutter had their cell phones stolen last school year. “It happened in the Main Gym during our phys. ed class,” said Naples. Rutter said that the class was given a break and her, Naples and Pluff had gone into the locker room. “Our stuff was locked up at the beginning of class, but when we went on the break, we had unlocked it in the locker room, then went back into the gym leaving it that way,” she continued. “I bring my stuff out with me into the gym during class because of what happened to Jackie, Stephanie, and Anna,” said Cole. “It scared me to hear that their stuff was stolen from the locker room when it didn’t have a lock, and I haven’t purchased one so I want to be safe,” she continued. Rutter said after telling the administrators, the police were called, but their phones were never found or returned to them.