The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thefts continue at CCHS

Thefts and vandalism at the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) have caused the school to begin locking the gym locker rooms each day, opening them only for gym classes. The problem also resulted in canceling the use of the gym during exam week, which ended on January 29.

Thefts are a “long-term” issue, explained Principal Peter Badalament. “People leave iPhones or their jacket out” in the locker rooms. He said most thefts are due to “opportunity” – students leaving valuables unattended. “Rarely, objects that are locked up are stolen.” At a recent parent coffee Badalament said the issue of thefts has not changed significantly during all the years he has worked at CCHS. (Badalament served as Dean of Students during 1997 – 2001 and returned to CCHS as principal in the fall of 2007.) He said that 99% of the time the thefts do not involve lockers, but involve items left loose in the locker room.

Video cameras were installed outside the locker rooms in 2005, but “don’t help much.” He noted that they cannot have cameras inside the locker rooms “for obvious reasons.” Although there was a drop in thefts in 2006, the problem continues today. (See “CCHS parents concerned with sports, thefts,” Mosquito, October 5, 2007.)

Parents at the coffee expressed disappointment at the decision to lock the locker rooms, pointing out that students who used the gym lockers to store textbooks between classes will no longer have access if the room is locked.

Badalament, reached by email, said that although students bear the responsibility of locking up their valuables, some gym lockers do not work and are too small to fit jackets or backpacks. For the lockers that do work, the school is considering mandating locks. “Either the student would provide his own or rent one,” said Badalament.

Vandalized ceiling tile

During exam week students were encouraged to attend the school only when they have tests, and can leave after their tests are completed. Those who do not have transportation or cannot leave for other reasons were asked to stay in the cafeteria. However, the upper gym and fitness center was opened as an option to relieve stress during exam week. Despite supervision, thefts and vandalism were reported, said Badalament. A ceiling tile was broken during the week, prompting the concern for more vandalism. ∆

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