Updated: Thefts Against Students Increasing…

By Madeleine Schroedel

Over the past two years, the HB community has changed.  Unfortunately, a theft problem has developed and has led to many students losing their valuable belongings.  Kids return from lunch or look to gather their things before the next period to find their backpacks unzipped and their wallets open.  It is very upsetting to know that stealing has become a common occurrence at HB, but the numerous recent thefts have only made the school administration and the student body more motivated to put an end to these unacceptable incidents.

I spoke with a few students who had their money stolen and are now dealing with the consequences of someone else’s actions.  One of the them explained her troublesome experience to me, stating that she had left her backpack outside a classroom on the second floor while in morning meeting.  During the ten minutes it took for announcements to be made, someone rummaged through her bag and found her wallet, which the student returned to discover open with all her money gone and credit card out of place.  She told me “I felt violated” and that the in-school theft “broke my trust with the school and the kids around me.”  The most meaningful aspect of it all, however, was the fact that “the money that the person stole was my personal money.  I worked for it and it took a lot of effort, including babysitting and my job.  That kind of money is not your parents’ and it’s not someone else’s; it’s yours and it has value to you.”  That money could have been paying for gas that day, or for a phone bill for the month.  As a result of this disheartening experience, she said that she will definitely be locking her valuable belongings up either in her locker or a teacher’s classroom.

Mrs. Sadler also wanted to send a message to the HB students by using poet Jamaal May’s insightful words that “one is the same as the whole.”  Mrs. Sadler pointed out that in this case, “that one person’s actions are taking away from the whole in a different way, and I feel like it’s so not what we are as an HB community.”  Shocked that there have been about twelve to fifteen thefts reported since last September, we both were puzzled as to how no information has come to light yet.  Apparently the anonymous hotline has not been of much help with solid evidence, so as a supplementary action the school is looking into new security policies.

These thefts have made us all more aware of the false sense of security we have while at school, showing that we need to be more conscious of our belongings and actions.  While we would like to believe no one would steal in our community, that hopeful judgement has proven not to be the case.  We should make sure out valuables are locked up during the day, and, regrettably, keep an eye open for people that are where they shouldn’t be.  If anyone does witness an occurrence, be sure to report it — it does take courage to be truthful, but insight is well appreciated.  The HB community is better than this.

A message to all: be careful with your belongings, and be mindful and respectful of those of others.