Lockers lack much-needed security

April 3, 2008 — by Mary Mykhaylova and Andy Tsao

It’s the middle of a P.E. class. The girls’ locker room is empty, and all of the students’ backpacks are stowed away inside their lockers. All except for one. One student forgets to put her backpack inside her locker because she had dressed quickly to avoid being late.

At some point, another girl enters the locker room and notices a backpack lying under one of the benches. She doesn’t just leave it there. She goes through the backpack and steals an iPod.

Why has theft has become such a problem? In middle school, even though students are supposedly “less mature,” petty crime simply was not as big of a problem.
The idea of someone actually stealing something seemed implausible. Perhaps students didn’t have as many valuables back then so there was nothing “interesting” to steal, but many middle schoolers do in fact have iPods and cell phones. Yet only rarely was something stolen.

Now, the administration requires students to lock up their belongings because there have been one too many incidents where everything from cameras and necklaces to even jeans and sweatshirts has been stolen. Why have students stopped seeing the difference between right and wrong?

Lockers have even been broken into. Yes, there are ways to crack MasterLocks by going through only about 50 of all 64,000 combinations, but are students so desperate that they will waste their time cracking locks?

Part of the problem is the quality of the lockers themselves. Lockers can sometimes be opened or shut without fiddling with the lock; even the new P.E. lockers can be popped open without much effort.

The truth? Students’ belongings are never completely safe.

The school could solve the theft problem by installing new lockers with built-in locks. Breaking into lockers would be harder in general, since conventional lock-cracking methods would be useless, and popping locks open would be much more difficult.

The administration needs to realize that theft is a large problem and take action to make sure that security standards rise to meet the problem.
Most importantly, the victims of theft need to realize that bringing valuables to school may not be a wise idea. A good rule to follow: if you don’t want to lose something, don’t bring it to school.

5 views this week