Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Student Thief

Occasionally, a student will report to me that he/she is missing an important item. Not a pen or pencil or the like, but something of value. Because of this one time when a girl had her fundraising money stolen, I know enough to get back the stolen item without having to call for backup.

It was a 10th grade world history class. And the lesson plan was pretty light. So, mostly they sat in their seats and talked. And I made sure they didn't do any damage to the room.

It was towards the end of class when the girl told me her fundraising money was missing. Students sell various food items all the time for various extracurricular activities. They're supposed to keep an eye on the money, but for whatever reason, this time the girl wasn't paying as close attention as she should.

There was no help for it. I had to call security.

Of course, since it was the end of the period, the bell rang before security got there.

Luckily, there was only one door to the room (some rooms have two doors), so I could stand in front of it and prevent any students from leaving. Which they protested. Loudly.

I also made sure the next class didn't come in.

It was still passing period when security got there. She explained to the class that if the money wasn't found, every student would be searched. But she wasn't allowed to search, so they'd first have to call an administrator. Which would take time. Making them even later to their next class than they were already.

It wasn't long before someone noticed an envelope in the trash. Containing all the money.

Once the girl verified that all the money was there, we let the students go. They weren't more than five minutes late to their next class. I wrote the whole incident down in the note to the teacher, and I hoped the girl had learned not to trust her classmates where money is concerned.

The next day I was on campus, and that class's teacher found me. I thought I was in trouble. (I should have been paying better attention. I should have noticed someone going through the girl's fundraising box.) But he wanted to tell me that he was pretty sure he knew who the thief was. And the thief was going to be dealt with.

I never did find out who the thief was. But it's been a few years since this incident, and that teacher is no longer teaching. He's now the principal at one of the high schools in the district.


  1. Eek, theft. You might not have seen it happen no matter how close you were watching. Someone got the envelope in the trash without anyone in the room seeing, didn't they? Sneaky.

  2. Good for you. You took a stand. I would heap high praise on a teacher like you that had the courage to do so. Your fast acting and quick thought makes you a hero for this unfortunate victim of crime.

  3. I echo what the previous commenter wrote... I tell kids over and over (and parents too) - don't bring anything you can't afford to lose to school. If you have money , leave it in the office. Of course, this is just a middle school but they still bring money or iphones to school and, yup, they get stolen. I don't have time or resources to track it all down - hence, the rule in writing - no money, no phones no electronics to school. We are not responsible for lost or stolen property.


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