Thursday, March 19, 2009

Letter: Thefts at Kenmore, Cameras Needed

Hi, Steve,

I don't know how much or whether you're interested in including info about Kenmore [Middle School] in the Buckingham HeraldTrib (all of Arlington Forest and part of Buckingham are in the Kenmore boundary, for whatever that's worth), but I thought you might be interested in this info from the Kenmore principal that was posted to the Kenmore listserv:

"This email is to inform you that in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 six students had cell phones stolen along with a few items of jewelry. This incident occurred while students were auditioning for the Diva dance program after school at about 3:45p.m. The student's possessions were left in the locker room, but not secured in lockers. The administrators and the school's Resource Officer are conducting an investigation. Please remind your child to refrain from bringing expensive items to school and to always make every effort to secure their belongings while at school. I believe that we will apprehend the culprit(s) in this case and we will continue to work towards a creating a climate where these safeguards aren't necessary."

Our older daughter was NOT among those affected by this most recent incident, though she did have an item stolen from the locker room in February. She told me that she'd heard that the items were taken from book bags and that the book bags were then put in the shower, with the water turned on; thereby destroying the books and papers in them.

Apparently, the lockers in the locker room are too small for book bags, resulting in many students not securing their bags in that room. (I'm told there isn't enough time between classes to go to the regular hall locker, secure the bag, and then go to the gym locker and change in time for gym - I can't say I've tried timing it though!

I'm bothered by all of this, not just because of the obvious theft problem, but because at the middle school forum I attended before Emily started at Kenmore, it was represented to be a safe and secure facility. I have my doubts. It seems to me that a solution to the locker room theft problem is to either a) install larger lockers, or b) place cameras OUTSIDE the locker rooms so that it records entries and exists. I'll be suggesting this to the principal but I don't expect him to take any action.

Stephen Goldman
Arlington Forest

I contacted Arlington Public Schools, and Frank Bellavia, a spokesperson, wrote in an email that the items were in purses and backpacks not in lockers. He wrote that students wanted to leave as soon as they were done with the auditions, and since it was after school they thought it was safe to leave them out. Some of the backpacks were put in the showers, and no one has been caught yet, he wrote. --ST

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