Need to let off a little steam!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Di, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Di

    Di Active Member

    A handful of weeks ago, Adam came back from his PE lesson to find his wallet missing from his jacket pocket. His wallet was found in the changing room but it was empty. :mad::mad: He was told "well you should have left it locked in the teachers office in the safe box". OK, that day we lost £3 and he went hungry. Not a huge deal.

    Today, in PE, he was in goal in football, the ball bounced off the side post and hit him full in the face, bang on the eye. He was taken down to wherever it is injured people get taken to. By the time he was done, the lesson had ended and everyone was changed and gone. And so was his wallet, MP3 player (he takes this and uses it to play along to in the music room) and school tie (complete with name on it) . :mad: Now I'm well and truly steaming as although his tie was with the rest of his clothes in the changing room, the MP3 and wallet were handed into the teacher and locked in the office. And the teacher actually remembers Adam putting them in the box. As well as losing his treasured MP3 (ok, so maybe there's a lesson to be learnt that he shouldn't have that in school, but if he does take it, does that excuse the fact that some little begger has beggered off with it?), he also went without lunch again and now has no wallet.

    What bothers me here is that something is handed in for safe keeping. I asked the kids the question "well why doesn't the teacher hand the goods back personally to the person who handed them in". The answer was "because they're trying to treat them like adults".

    So, even with a safe box, kids can just go up after lesson once its opened and help themselves to whatever they flippin like. I ask you, what is the point of a safe box? You might just as well have a sign saying "lucky dip - help yourselves". :mad::mad::mad::mad:

    Final question. If these items were handed in for safe keeping, who pays for their replacement? Are the school responsible?

    We have a note from his PE teacher saying who within the school has been informed and we are to right down the details for them. We WILL be speaking to them tomorrow.

    Sorry, vent over (for now). :redface:
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - sorry to hear about that and the school are definitely responsible if they choose to use a system that is meant to safeguard personal belongings. It's like going into a bank and being told to just go to the safe or vault to get your money ... without supervision. It wouldn't happen there and it shouldn't happen in a school!
  3. Di

    Di Active Member

    Hmm, I wonder if they'll see it like that when we mention it to them.

    Obviously Adam will want another MP3 player, whoever gets to replace it, and a wallet. But should I also have to fork out for another tie? It seems so unfair. Uniform is compulsory and the kids get in trouble if they don't wear it, and obviously, he won't want to be "different" by not wearing one. Vicki's jacket went missing about 4 months before the end of her year 11 (6th formers don't wear uniform), so I sent her with a note saying I wasn't replacing it as it had gone missing, never to be found, inside school. OK, a tie isn't going to break the bank. It's the principle of the matter.
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Darned right it's their responsibility Di. They offer the service of the Safe Box - and so the school (or teacher) should be held responsible if things go missing out of it. It should be under the supervision of the teacher.
  5. Di

    Di Active Member

    I don't think its a "safe" as such, it's just a box or a bucket that is locked in an office.
  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    OK, Di, as a teacher and a school governor there are a couple of things that grab me here:

    1. I would never encourage any child to bring anything precious or expensive into school. Schools are full of thieves and sadly, not all of them are children.

    2. If Adam did not lock his things away or give them to an adult to look after, then he is responsible.

    3. Anything that he gave to a member of staff becomes the school's responsibility and they should replace it. If they try to dodge the issue have no mercy. They have a duty of care to both Adam and his property as long as it is given to them for safe keeping. If their system is flawed, then that is their look out, not his.

    4. As this is definitely not the first incidence, then the school, also needs to be doing something about the situation by finding out who is doing the stealing. The duty of care extends to them as well, as, if the thieving is not stopped they will eventually end up stealing something bigger, and will also be caught - maybe put in prison. They should be working to avoid this. Someone will know who it is. Someone will have seen Adam's things being taken. It is usually not that difficult to extract such information - after all, there are a relatively small number of possible culprits.

    5. Thefts of this size and frequency should also be reported to the police. The school will not be happy because of the potential scandal, but maybe that will make them honour their committment to the children.
  7. Di

    Di Active Member

    Thanks for that Mike, we'll definitely be doing our best to get to the bottom of it tomorrow.
  8. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Sorry to hear about this Di. I'm a music and PE teacher in a city secondary school. There is no way that the school has any comeback in my opinion. We offer a similar "safe" but always ensure that the owner asks for it/them back and gets their stuff handed back to them by a member of staff. This annoys lots of pupils who send thier mates to get stuff back for them but is the only workable soloution in a school environment.
    Don't let up until you get a result - go to governers - not the head,
  9. Di

    Di Active Member

    Thanks again. As I said in my original post, we do have a note from his teacher, and those that Adam spoke to did sound supportive and as if they would try and resolve it, its just that by the time we got to hear about it, they'd gone home. So, fingers crossed.
  10. Crazysop

    Crazysop Member

    The place where I work (A pupil referrral unit) has had a few thefts before and we ALWAYS involve the police, staff mobiles have gone, student mobiles, staff laptops, staff keys, students belongings. If you get no joy fairly quickly from the school I'd definitely take it up with the police. If nothing else it will make the school look at their policies to make sure this does ot happen again and perhaps deter the culprit from further acts of sticky fingers.
    I'm sure if it was an item of staff's belongings that had been stolen then the school themselves would involve the police!
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  11. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    I think, whichever level of school authority you end up speaking to, the magic words are 'police', 'lawyer' and 'local press'.


    PS Not (just) having a laugh, but thinking of what you have in your armoury to threaten... no, persuade them with.
  12. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    If it helps...If I win the "Areas Article Contest" (for which 1st prize is an mp3 player)...he can have it as I am already quite set in the mp3 dept.
  13. a very flat b

    a very flat b Member

    It could be worth suggesting to the school that personal belongings like these are handed in in a resealable plastic bag with the childs name on it, freezer bags from the local supermarket. This is what they do at our local high school and it stopped things being stolen in the way you describe.
    Sorry its a bit horse and stable door but it will help prevent future thefts.
  14. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Something else that would be good, would be schools taking a firmer line to prevent pupils bringing stuff in that they shouldn't. At my school, and I think at most others, if you confiscate a phone or mp3 player they get it back at the end of that day, so if its last lesson they dont really lose anything.

    If they didn't get it back until a week after its been confiscated, they would be less likely to bring it in to school in the first place. But that would be against their 'rights'.

    Needs to be one way or the other, either schools collect stuff in in PE and properly look after it, or they make it clear that if pupils are going to bring these things in, they do so at their own risk.
  15. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Off-topic, but to answer this post for you Pat - the rules of said contest required a minimum of 10 articles to be submitted in order for the prize to be offered, and unfortunately, only 8 entries were received.
  16. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    This is why secondary schools should have lockers (in my opinion anyway)...the kids can then leave all their gear locked away for safe keeping.

    This is what they do in America I also limits the amount of lugging heavy bags around as well...
  17. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    I always had a locker when I was at school, I would have been lost without it. If I hadn't, some days I would have had to lug around all the usual school books, my Trumpet, Ingredients for home economics and a PE kit.

    Why shouldn't they be allowed to bring them? Fair enough, they shouldn't be used during class so quite rightly confiscate them if they do! I used to have a 30-40 minute walk to school (depending on how laden up i was!) and I always had my walkman/personal CD player with me (this is before the time of minidiscs and mp3 players!) and I'd put it in my locker for the day. As for mobile phones, yes they shouldn't be used in class, but how many parents have worried when their son/daughter is late home from school for whatever reason? A quick text/call on the mobile can put a parents mind at rest, and if something is wrong, they can call home and get help! I was bullied a lot at school and could have been saved from many a black eye/bleeding nose/ritual humilliation if I could've called home!
  18. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    I only confiscate them when they use them in class. If they are in their pocket, I don't know its there, which suits me fine. Point I was making was that even then you have to give it back practically straight away.
  19. Di

    Di Active Member

    Wow, thanks guys. I have quite a bit to answer here.

    Pythagoras - he takes his mp3 player to school and during his music lesson and often during lunch times, he drums along to his music. But it wasn't only the MP3 that has gone missing, there's also the wallet.

    Scotchgirl - lockers. There are a some lockers, but a very limited number. I seem to remember sending Vicki in on HER first day in year 10 with £5 deposit for a locker and key, but she's never had one. Hmm, that reminds me, wonder if we'll get that back. ;)

    A very b flat /blagger - I like the idea of a bag with the childs name on. I will still be trying to push for an improvement on what they already have, ie, goods are returned to the owners only.

    Flugel D. Love the headline. :clap: Would be worth thinking about, but for all the commotion, he couldn't even raise a shiner, let alone blood. :rolleyes:



    Steve contacted the school today and let them know the situation, but was out of the office when they called back, having made enquiries, to discuss it further. From what I can glean from Adam (but Steve is to call them back tomorrow to confirm this as Adam isn't always on this planet ;) ), they will be announcing it in the registration bulletin in the morning. If nothing has come to light by early/mid week next week, we are to purchase new items, and give the school the receipts and they will refund us. That hasn't exactly answered how/if they will find the culprits, but it's a start in the right direction.
  20. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    They should be banned completely from school. I am sick and fed up of children who cannot resist the urge to text or listen to mp3 players in lessons when they are supposed to be practicing or composing or doing something else. It's all very well for people to say they shouldn't listen to them in class - in an ideal world that would work - the point is that they do listen to them in class - many children find it impossible to resist the temptation. I confiscated a phone only yesterday. The stupid child seemed to think I wouldn't notice what she was doing with her hands under the desk!:rolleyes:

    Besides this, there is Adam's experience to go on. Increasingly there are thieves in school. My school is right in the centre of town and anybody can walk in. Why take the risk? Then there are other children whose grasp on the concept of ownership rights is quite slim.

    To be honest I can't dredge up much sympathy for this argument either. The same things apply as for mp3s. I doubt if there is a school in the country that would prevent a child phoning home if they were going to be late. If the parent is that concerned they can come and pick the child up. To be honest I'm more worried about children getting inappropriate texts and trying to sneak out to the toilet during lessons. My classes all know that unless they've got a medical reason I will not let them out. We have had several instances where this kind of thing has happened. We even had one enterprising young lady who was selling 'personal services' via text message to the boys in school. That's the kind of thing that worries me, not someone bleating on about how essential it is to listen to noise at high volume on a long journey. Get real!

    Oh BTW, if I confiscate a phone/mp3 player the parent has to write in giving permission for the child to get the item back. This process can take several days. :D
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006