You feel violated.  Your personal space has been intruded upon and you feel more vulnerable.  It’s someone in your “family,” or at least that’s what you call all of these people who you live and work with. That’s right I’m talking about how you feel when something comes up missing on board a Navy ship.

You trust your life with these people.  You work shoulder-to-shoulder for hours a day, 7 days a week, for months on end with these people.  And, one of them is a thief.

There really is no one lower than a thief in the military.  Yet, they are there.  You know it and you protect your things.  You never leave things unlocked.  You make sure valuables are on you or in a safe.

When I went into teaching 20 years ago I knew that there were students coming to me with very little and I knew there were students coming from very affluent backgrounds.   And, just like the Navy, these kids can be thieves.  I “knew” it but I didn’t believe it.  I was wrong.

In every school I have worked I have “lost” things off of my desk.  Usually it’s something small like a favorite pen or pencil.  Sometimes it’s a little bigger and a little more important like a trinket from some event I’ve been to or from someplace I’ve visited.

Now, you have to understand that I have NEVER been at a safer school than I am at right now.  There really is a unique culture of family.  IPods and phones routinely are lost and then found and returned to their rightful owners.  Money is found and returned.  It really is an incredible school and I feel very fortunate to be working here.

But right now we have a thief (or thieves) among us.  Most of our students mature more rapidly than any others I have seen in my 20 years as an educator.  But there are still a few who are very immature and have a total disregard for our culture and our school image.

So what do we do about this problem?  Hopefully the current rash of thievery will lead to the apprehension of those with light fingers.  Hopefully the student body will be as disgusted with these kids as the rest of us are and will take it upon themselves to do something about it.  Even though this post started out very negative I need to say, again, that our school is incredibly safe and nearly 100% of our students “do the right thing.”

And, just like the Navy which I love, there are some bad apples.  The bad apples are part of our family. They are the students in our classroom.  They work with other students in groups.  They eat with the other students at lunch.  They are bad apples but as the song goes, “one bad apple don’t spoil the whole the whole bunch…”  We have a bunch of incredible students.  We have an incredible family.   Our family just needs to remember to lock up their things and keep our thieves away from temptation.

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