I teach in a remote area, where the school district provides housing for the teachers for a nominal rent. Our district had a four-day fall break, including the weekend, and I decided to fly to Kentucky to visit my daughter. All was not well in my absence, however, as this e-mail I wrote and sent to all administrators and teachers illustrates:
I went to visit my daughter in Kentucky over fall break, leaving Thursday morning and arriving back at my trailer at 5 p.m. Sunday. When I arrived, I noticed that the front door was unlocked. I also noticed that a bathroom light and vent fan were on, and I thought maybe I had gotten careless in my haste to
leave on Thursday. I shrugged it off and thought nothing more about it.
Then at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, I noticed that my external hard drive was missing. I immediately called the head of campus security, who said that mine was not the only trailer burglarized.
I called the county sheriff and a deputy came at about 7:50 p.m.to take a report. While he was here, I discovered that my printer/scanner had also been stolen. [Still later I discovered two other items missing as well: my desktop speakers and my USB hub.] The deputy said two things that I find very disturbing.
First, he said that at least eight burglaries took place in teacher housing sometime around midnight
Saturday, with the burglars going systematically from door to door, where no vehicles were parked, knocking on the doors and, when no one answered, kicking in the doors. The burglars then scooped up all the electronics they could carry.
Second, the deputy said that the head of campus security had been told (apparently by administration) not to have security patrol teacher housing on weekends.
If this is the case, then what trailer is safe on the weekends? How can I go visit my sons, who live three hours away, on the weekends if I have to worry about my trailer being broken into? How can I go home at Thanksgiving and Christmas if no one is going to patrol teacher housing regularly and frequently to discourage break-ins? Whose trailer is safe, even in broad daylight, without regular patrols?
I am very distressed over the loss of my hard drive, which contained much valuable data, which I will never see again. I am even more distressed over the violation of my living space. Most distressing of all is learning that I really have no protection in teacher housing. I’m on my own—and so are you.
I hope that immediate action will be taken to ensure the safety of teachers and their possessions by instituting frequent and regular patrols, especially during the day when teachers are in school, and on weekends and holiday times, when many teachers are not at home.
Magical Mystical Teacher