Introduction by Maia Zewert, LCN reporter
In mid-November I received an email from Kelly Wass, the seventh- and eighth-grade writing teacher at Great Salt Bay Community School. Her older students were in the midst of an investigative journalism unit and she was wondering if I would be interested in speaking with the students about what it was like to be a community reporter.
As I told Wass, speaking to students about being a reporter is one of my favorite parts about being a reporter.
During my visit with each of her three eighth-grade classes on Nov. 17, I gave a brief introduction about myself, how I ended up at The Lincoln County News, and what a “typical” week was like in the newsroom before opening it up for questions.
While it may have been the fact that I was rewarding students with lollipops for every question they asked, they genuinely seemed interested in what it was like to work for a newspaper and the daily goings-on involved. Each of the three sections had at least one variation of the question, “What’s your favorite part of your job?” and I’m pretty sure I gave a different answer each time.
We here at The Lincoln County News thought it would be fun to publish some of the articles the students wrote for the public to read. Beyond some small edits by Christine LaPado-Breglia, our arts and lifestyle editor, to bring the articles into Associated Press-style, the articles are largely untouched to preserve the voice of the young journalists.
I want to give a huge thank you to Wass, her eighth-grade students, and GSB Principal Kim Schaff, who gave Wass my name in the first place, for the opportunity to come speak to the students. It was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my year.
Also, if there are any other teachers out there who would like to have a reporter come speak to your class, please give us a call at 563-3171 and we’ll do our best to accommodate the request.
GSB students divided on band grading policy
By Althea Floge
Around the United States, grading policies for middle school subjects such as band, physical education, and health have received a lot of attention. At Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta, whether or not to have letter grades for band is a long-debated topic.
Students of GSB were sent an online survey to determine their opinion on grading for band. The students were almost split evenly on their opinion about whether or not band should be graded. Forty-nine percent of students surveyed thought band should be graded; 51 percent thought that band should not be graded.
As of right now, at GSB, band is a graded subject, but some students don’t agree that it should be.
Casey Nelson, a current eighth-grader enrolled in band at GSB, said, “I feel like band should not be graded because it could affect the amount of people that want to play in band. It is added stress, when playing an instrument should be fun. I do think that you should still try your best when in band.”
Casey brought up a unique point: if band is graded, students might not choose to enroll in this optional course because they don’t want to get a bad grade.
Corbin Drake, also an eighth-grader at GSB, does not participate in band. Corbin said that band shouldn’t be graded. “It’s just another grade for students that could prevent that person from getting honor roll,” he said. This reasoning is similar to Casey Nelson’s point that band grading could discourage people to join band because they don’t want to risk getting a bad grade.
A seventh-grader of GSB named Alicia Flis, who is in band, said that “band is an extracurricular activity, and it shouldn’t be graded because it is not a subject, and shouldn’t be graded as one.”
An anonymous eighth-grader of GSB that is not involved in band shared what she thought about the GSB band grading policy. She said, “Not all students do band, so I don’t think that it should be graded. Also, some people don’t have time to practice as much as others, so they might not be quite as good as everyone else. I think ‘de-grading’ someone for having a busy schedule isn’t the right thing to do.
“I also know that the band grading policy has gotten harder this year, to the dismay of many band students. I feel like if band is to be graded, it shouldn’t be graded on if the student can play a piece perfectly every single time and if they practice their instrument 10 hours a week. That’s just not realistic for middle school students,” said the student. “I’m not saying that’s how the band grading system is, I’m just saying that it shouldn’t make kids stress about band, and then make them quit.”
This student also thought that since this year the music policy at GSB has changed and some type of music class is required, it is OK for music classes of any type to be graded, but that there are many ways to work around making it less stressful for the students.
“I think band should be graded on participation, and effort, but not on individual performances of songs and scales. Band is an optional class, so I don’t think you should have to put as much effort into it as a regular class,” said Skyler Houghton, who is an eighth-grader at GSB and currently part of the band.
This year there has been a shift in band, including tests on scales and songs that students are required to record and submit as homework through an online program. Many students have expressed frustration with this, as the website used to record is difficult to navigate.
Evelyn White, who currently does not participate in band, shared her beliefs about the band grading policy. “I believe it should be graded because this will make it so that students must participate and practice and remember their paraphernalia, or else they will get a bad grade,” she said. “If there weren’t grades, some students wouldn’t care if they fooled around because there would be no consequences. Grades teach important lessons: the real world is not a nice place.”
An eighth-grader in band named Audrey Perce made it clear what she thinks. “Band should be graded because some people slack off on purpose. This could be due to their parents making them do it, or because it is a requirement. So, if it wasn’t graded, people would slack off more,” Audrey said. Students throughout fifth through eighth grade agreed with Audrey’s reasoning.
Bella Hanna, a current eighth-grader not enrolled in band, thinks that band should be graded. She said, “Kids take their extra time to go and learn how to play an instrument, and if they are being graded, it pushes them to get better at what they play.”
The survey results highlight why band grading policies are such a difficult topic to resolve. A little over half of students at GSB think removing grades would help reduce student stress and convince more students to join band. Others thought that band should be graded because it will prepare the students for the real world. They thought band should be graded for many reasons, including the idea that in the real world you will have to live with what you have, not complain, and try your best.
One other reason students thought that band should be graded is because it will push students to try harder and get better at playing their instruments.
Many students proposed the idea of a pass/fail grading system for band. At GSB, health is graded by pass/fail and people have been pushing for physical education to become pass/fail, too. It has been stated that if health and physical education are graded by pass/fail, then band and chorus should be, too. The reasoning behind this idea is that sometimes health and physical education are not thought of as real subjects, and since band and chorus are optional, that makes them even less real. So, if health and physical education are graded by pass/fail, then band and chorus definitely should be.
No teachers or staff were interviewed for this piece, but it would be interesting to see what they had to say about band grading policies. It was also undetermined whether or not this topic has ever been brought to the GSB school board, but there have been changes in some grading policies recently, suggesting that it is possible changes in band grading policy might happen at GSB.
Looking at technology’s effect on relationships
By Sonny Cumming
A press of a button, the tap of a finger. With the slightest movement, your life will shift, big or small. Communication and social media has rocketed to nearly unthinkable speeds and precisions, with texting, likes, retweets, instant updates, and so much more. This has undoubtedly affected each and every one of us, in countless ways. But has it affected our relationships with each other?
When a survey was taken on how the eighth-graders of GSB thought social media affected their relationships, 69 percent of the 17 surveyed students believed that social media impacted their relationships negatively.
One of the students who was surveyed said that technology impacted her relationships negatively, but she still uses it daily. She said, “I think that technology can affect a relationship in a negative way due to having a better relationship through technology than face to face. But as the relationship grows, I am thankful for having that base of technology to start our relationship.”
Negative impacts through social media on our relationships can vary. It is easy to put on a facade on social media, and this would create some unstable relationships. “People fake it when they’re on social media, and you really need to find out who they really are,” said Casey Nelson.
When people are on their screens a lot, they are also taking away from the potential bonding time with those around them. In the survey of eighth-graders at GSB, 18.8 percent of the students thought that relationships with parents and relatives were affected negatively by social media.
But social media can also strengthen our relationships incredibly. You can talk to people and connect without the hassle of logistics, not to mention meet new people and not only strengthen your relationships with people, but with the world around you. Social media can open up your world and show you things and people that could shape your life in the direction you are supposed to go.
“I think that (social media) is great. It has made communication a whole lot easier, and really improved lives around the world,” said Althea Floge, an eighth-grader at GSB. According to pewinternet.com, 59 percent of teens think that social media helps them understand what’s going on in their significant other’s life.
Sometimes even the absence of social media can affect us. If a child wants permission for a social media account and if the parent doesn’t give it to the child, it can create family tension. Although families are greatly affected by social media, the survey showed that eighth-graders thought that their friendships were most affected specifically by social media, at 29 percent. Although this was true, 35 percent thought all relationships are significantly impacted.
All of our relationships are impacted by social media. Social media is a great addition to our world, but we need to watch how it affects the important things in our life – our relationships, our routines, work, or school. We just need to balance out our lives and make sure all of the impacts social media makes on our lives are positive.
The importance of physical education in public schools
By Skyler Houghton
The struggle of keeping physical education in schools’ daily schedules has been a long-standing issue in the U.S. Many schools have limited physical education opportunities for their students – either no classes at all or, at most, two times per week.
There are many benefits to having physical education classes. According to the Chicago Tribune, schools are saying they “don’t have the staff or facilities to offer the courses daily.” Should this issue be ignored or addressed? If you ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Columbia University, the New York City Health Department, the New York City Department of Education, the University of Illinois, West Virginia University, and the University of California, they all agree that physical education should be kept in schools.
If schools considered the benefits of physical education, they might be more inclined to keep it, or increase the time of this important part of the school day.
In cutting physical education, students are affected immensely. Many health authorities are saying that students should get 60 minutes of physical activity a day, but many children do not get close to that amount. According to Dr. Thom McKenzie, a professor emeritus at San Diego State University, physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death. If kids don’t have the chance to move around during the school day, they are at risk for being overweight, for obesity, and for other chronic diseases. These problems are already raging in the U.S. So why should we make them even worse?
Another benefit to physical education is the lessons students learn. Some lessons include living healthy lifestyles, working as a team, and being an active participant in the class. All of these lessons are important in a student’s development and their interactions with others.
An eighth-grade student at Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta said, “While in older grades, we are more focused on learning how to play certain games. In younger grades, I learned lots on how to work as a team.”
These topics can help kids in other classes, too. This student also said, “I find myself using the skill of teamwork on group projects, and classwork every day.” Imagine the change in students’ behavior and study skills if more schools added physical education to the school day.
If there was a list of benefits to physical education, improving academic achievements would be at the top. Physical activity increases oxygen flow to the brain, which helps students concentrate on their work and helps the brain function. Also, while performing an intense aerobic activity, the brain can grow new cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. These facts go against some schools’ reason for cutting physical education – to have more time for academics.
In an article by Daniel Lattier, he says, “Increased competition to get into top-tier universities is leading more students to focus solely on academics, and an increased emphasis on standardized tests has led many schools to dispense with P.E. classes and recess.” If schools want to improve on standardized tests, they should keep physical education and encourage students, instead of cutting it.
On the contrary, some studies are showing that physical education is not that effective. Cornell University concluded, based on a CDC survey of 37,000 high school students, that gym class is ineffective. Even when states increased the time students spend in gym class, adding 200 more minutes of time to gym class each week did not produce any substantial changes. After adding 200 extra minutes weekly, studies showed that girls only were only participating in activity for 8 additional minutes, and boys were participating for 7.5 additional minutes each week.
Cornell’s lead professor of policy analysis and management explained that students weren’t getting much physical activity since most of their physical education class they were standing around, or playing a sport that doesn’t involve a lot of running or physical exertion. This could also be due to students sitting through long lectures by the physical education teacher about the topic they are learning.
Many schools argue that we don’t need physical education because of recess. But some kids don’t know how to be active without an adult showing them the way. The Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program is a program put out by shapeamerica.org. This program is not only about physical activity, but it meets the nationally recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develops the knowledge, skills, and confidence in students to be physically active for their whole life. This is one of many ways schools can change the mindset about physical education, and can help students across the country stay active and healthy.
Overall, studies indicate that physical education is an important aspect of a student’s school day. Without a routine of physical activity, a student’s health can worsen and therefore their academic achievement can suffer. As students become working members of society, they are not prepared physically or intellectually. In the end, society suffers. If we don’t keep physical education a priority for this generation, public schools are not doing the job of preparing kids for the real world.
School bus driver shortage affects Maine schools
By Ryan Sullivan
It’s 3:40 p.m. at Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta, about an hour after the day ends. A sign at the front reads: “Now hiring bus drivers.” A bus has squeaked to a halt. Instead of heading for its normal position that the driver leaves it in after school, it is in a position to pick up students. Sure enough, they pile on. One extra bus route later, students of that route have arrived at their houses about an hour after they normally do. This is known as a second bus run.
For the past few years, Great Salt Bay and other schools in Maine have been struggling with their bus routes. There has been a heavy bus driver shortage that has been affecting students all over the state, and in other states as well. Great Salt Bay is no exception.
At GSB, there is a total of seven normal bus routes, and three alternate bus routes – one in the morning and two in the afternoon. These routes can be viewed at www.aos93.org/www/current-news/gsbbusroutes. All three of the alternate routes have to do with Bus No. 1.
A survey was conducted to find out what the eighth grade thought about the bus routes. Out of 18 responses, three thought the bus routes were unsatisfactory, and of the three, one of the responders went on Bus No. 1. That same Bus. No. 1 rider was one of the two that answered “yes” to the question “Do you often get to school or get to home later because of late bus runs due to lack of bus drivers?” The other student rode on Bus No. 14, interestingly. (Bus No. 14 is not affected by any sort of delays whatsoever.)
The reason buses have to double up in the first place is because of way too many kids and not enough bus drivers to drive them home. Even with seven bus routes to and from school, there are still too many students for the bus drivers to handle at once, and just one absence of a bus driver means it is almost impossible to hire a substitute driver just in time.
Bus No. 1 is a particular target of this; however, that doesn’t mean other routes cannot be affected. This bus driver shortage is happening in parts all across Maine, and in other states as well. News sites and shows like those on WCSH6 have addressed the problem, and some, including usnews.com, have reported about what the state of Maine is trying to do to fix it.
The usnews.com website reported that Maine is turning to veterans to help with the bus driver crisis. It states that “the state labor and education departments are offering free training at school districts for veterans and others interested in working as school bus drivers and mechanics.” They say that hiring veterans is a good idea, due to them often coming out of the military with mechanic and engine skills, as well as the want to serve the community they are in. This is only one solution and although it may not be much, it shows that Maine’s education system knows about this problem. Currently, the Maine Department of Education has not made any recent statements on the matter.
Increased foreign language instruction needed in U.S. schools
By Evelyn White
Do you attend a foreign language program at your school? Are foreign language programs even offered at your school? Only 25 percent of all U.S. public and private elementary schools offered foreign language instruction in 2010, according to the Center for Applied Linguistics.
The teaching of foreign languages in U.S. schools seems to be lacking greatly. According to “The Atlantic,” less than 1 percent of American adults today are proficient in a foreign language that they studied in a U.S. classroom.
The National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey calculates that 10.6 million students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in the U.S. are studying a world language or American sign language – only one out of every five students. However, there still seem to be conflicting ideologies on the significance of teaching foreign language programs in American schools, and current barriers.
Many individuals can agree that foreign language programs are important and beneficial opportunities for learners of all ages, especially during our time in the United States, with more and more different cultures assimilating into the country, and so many more job opportunities available to those who can speak foreign languages.
Nancy Rhodes, senior foreign language education consultant for the Center for Applied Linguistics said, “There are now definitely more jobs globally that require language and cross-cultural skills. U.S. universities are realizing that they need to prepare globally competent graduates and are starting to offer more tailored language classes in preparation for needs in the workforce. They are also internationalizing their curricula to help their graduates adapt to the global marketplace.”
An American Academy of Arts & Sciences report concluded that the United States, with its increasing number of monolingual residents, could face “social and economic disadvantages in an increasingly multilingual, global society” if language instruction remains un-ideal.
Language-policy analyst Rachel Hanson said, “Languages are not a side dish that’s extra, but it’s a side dish that complements other skills. You can use it to augment and fortify other skills that you have, and expand the application of these skills.”
Learning foreign languages benefits people intellectually, and allows them to travel, study, or work overseas.
The Pew Research Center, in Washington, D.C., claimed that almost every country in Europe requires students as young as 6 years old to learn a foreign language, and more than 20 European countries (France included) require students to learn two foreign languages in their school for a minimum of one school year. Compared to the U.S., which has no national requirement for learning a second language, with only 15 percent of our elementary schools offering foreign language instruction, it only makes our low standards stand out.
According to Marty Abbott, the executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Americans will soon wish they had similar opportunities in language programs. “We know that it is a fundamentally different world now and it’s time for Americans to wake up, because English is not necessarily the lingua franca when you leave the U.S.,” said Abbott.
At this point, you are likely asking, “So why aren’t we teaching foreign languages in U.S. schools?” Richard Brecht, who oversees the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Study of Language, said, “It isn’t that people don’t think language education important. It’s that they don’t think it’s possible.”
Sometimes the barriers include disputes over priorities often because of limited funding and politics, and many question if a language program is a worthwhile investment to make, and if language programs are of much value. Even an eligible teacher shortage is a factor that contributes to the depressed state of foreign language instruction. Language-policy analyst Rachel Hanson believes this impediment is a big “chicken-or-the-egg challenge in language education,” and points out that one “can’t expand language education if you don’t have the pool of teachers to teach it. And, if the students aren’t learning the language and becoming proficient, they won’t become teachers.”
Hopefully, the language programs in American schools will eventually be revived. Slowly, more and more people are becoming interested in learning about different cultures, and becoming aware of the modern-day benefits of having learned a foreign language. So help take action and try something new!
Football should not be banned, just made safer
By Haley Clifford
Football is a well-known, popular sport played all around the world. All kids and adults love to play and watch the good old game of football, but is it too dangerous?
The National High School Sports Related Injury Surveillance Study recorded more than 500,000 high school football injuries throughout the U.S. just between 2014 and 2015. Parents are concerned for their kids’ safety and debate about how football should be banned. But football does have its pros, as it has its cons.
Dr. Michael Behr took measures into his own hands to make a list of pros and cons for everyone playing football.
Some of the cons are:
• Injuries such as ankle sprains, hamstring injuries, meniscus tears, and concussions are most common in football. Concussions can range from mild to severe and can be fatal.
• Many injuries from a severe tackle can and have led to many deaths with young kids. You may not even know how bad these hits were until years later.
But some of the pros are:
• All of the conditioning is good for cardiovascular health.
• It’s a good way to improve concentration.
• Teaches value of teamwork, leadership, and having a good work ethic.
After interviewing some fellow classmates and teachers, they gave their input on how they feel about banning football. Seven out of seven interviews all said that we should not ban football, some even including that it should just be made safer, especially for high school football, where it is more intense and dangerous.
Corbin Drake said, “Everyone knows football can be dangerous. They have to be willing to take that risk of getting injured.” He is correct. Everyone hears about all these injuries in football but it is still their choice to play. If they aren’t willing to take the risk, then football just isn’t for them.
Great Salt Bay’s very own writing teacher gives her input on this situation. “You should be able to play as long as you are careful and have a trainer that pays close attention,” she said. “If a kid keeps getting concussions and serious injuries, they should find a different solution.”
She also adds, “They should also provide those helmets with built-in concussion prevention, so kids are less likely to get a serious, life-threatening head injury.”
Studies show that football isn’t even the No. 1 sport that caused the most injuries between the years of 2002 and 2014. The top eight are:
8. Volleyball — 14,304
7. Softball — 18,119
6. Wrestling/boxing/martial arts — 18,174
5. Gymnastics/cheer/dance — 22,671
4. Baseball — 27,208
3. Soccer — 45,475
2. Football — 118,886
1. Basketball — 119,589
As you can see, basketball was the leading sports-related injury cause.
Everything you do can be dangerous. Every sport, every job, and every hobby you do can be dangerous. So why ban football? If you want to ban every sport that is dangerous, you would have to ban every sport there is. Football comes with risks and consequences, but you have to be willing to take those chances. Not just with football, with everything.
In conclusion, football should not be banned, it should just be safer, especially for middle and high school students. Everything you do comes with risks, and it’s wrong to just ban one sport because people think it’s more dangerous.
Should school start later for teens?
By Carlos Diego Canny
Many adolescent kids and their parents believe that school should start at a later time than it currently starts. The question is: does having the correct amount of sleep in teens improve their grades? Can teens be safer during puberty if they have more sleep? Should school start later because of the circadian rhythm shift during puberty?
A question that many parents ask is “Can my teen’s grades improve if they go to bed earlier?” This question was answered by “The Straits Times” in 2016. The study had 48 students of ages 16 through 19. The average bedtime of the students was nearly midnight – 11:37 p.m.
The study also showed that there is a difference between “a good night’s sleep” and “longer sleep.” Longer sleep throughout the night is related to better academic performance, while consistent and drawn-out sleep is connected with better cognitive performance.
Their study also showed that “a longer period of sleep and earlier bedtimes” are “most strongly correlated with better results obtained by the students on a number of tests at school.”
So it’s true. Teens get better grades when they get “better” sleep. The type of sleep that teens get matters in their grades, and this type of sleep is very much achievable from later school-start times.
Second off, teens could possibly be safer when they get more sleep. An article in the Star Tribune discusses the risks of teens who get the necessary amount of sleep for a teen – nine hours – versus those who don’t. In a 2011 study, 12,154 students were examined, all of them in grades nine through 12. When getting eight hours of sleep or less, 31.1 percent of students experienced depression.
A study done on 9,000 high school students showed the increase in sleep for teens when school start time is pushed to later. “For example, a 7:30 a.m. start time provided 33.6 percent of students eight hours of sleep, while an 8:55 a.m. start offered 66.2 percent eight hours of rest,” the study said.
Later start times in high school can also lead to decreases in cigarette, alcohol, drug, and marijuana use and car crashes in the teens studied. All of these problems can lead to risks in health issues while young, and health issues in the future.
Third and finally, it is known by all parents that puberty affects a teenager’s body. However, many parents are unaware of the shift in the body clock or circadian rhythm during puberty. The teenagers’ shift in their circadian rhythm is talked about on the UCLA Health website: “Before puberty, your body makes you sleepy around 8 or 9 p.m. When puberty begins, this rhythm shifts a couple hours later. Now, your body tells you to go to sleep around 10 or 11 p.m.”
This directly shows why school should start later. If teens go to bed later, then they need to wake up later. This needed extra sleep is also cut down from the increase in homework in high school. Some students may do extracurricular activities that may be physically or mentally taxing on the student, causing even more sleep to be necessary. According the National Sleep Foundation, only 15 percent of teenagers got the recommended 8 ½-9 ¼ hours of sleep on school nights.
To sum up, teens not only need more sleep to be safer and get better grades, but also need more sleep because it is biologically natural to need this much sleep.
Many people say that teens are losing their sleep from social media usage, and that is true. But teens are also simply losing sleep from the natural sleep that is being taken away from them. The natural circadian rhythm shift appears in every teen at some point and changes the hours teens get tired at.
To conclude, teenagers need about 9 hours of sleep nightly, and only 15 percent are achieving that. Many reasons are contributing to why teens don’t get that amount, but the main reason is that the school start time is too early for teens to get the amount of sleep necessary to be safer, smarter, and better people in the future. How and when will this problem be fixed? And just how much later should school start?
Locks needed on school lockers to help curtail theft
By Jake Shaw
Picture this: your grandmother from Connecticut sends you a gift in the mail, which includes a new pencil box with the most popular pencils and pens being sold today. You bring them to school and store them in your school locker only to find out later, upon returning to your locker, that someone stole them.
The students of Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta are very familiar with this unfortunate situation. The seventh- and eighth-graders are issued a locker in the middle school branch section of the building; however, locks on the lockers are not allowed.
The lack of locks on lockers was observed by this reporter upon a visit to the middle school branch section of the school’s hallway. During the visit to the school, this reporter came into contact with several students and asked them if they had experienced theft of items from their lockers. One student, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that she had been a victim of theft of gum from her locker.
Attempts were made to interview the GSB custodian to determine the number of reported thefts from lockers. The school representative did not respond.
This reporter conducted an online survey of all the students in the GSB seventh and eighth grade and asked them if they thought seventh- and eighth-graders should be allowed to put locks on their lockers. Of the respondents, 87.5 percent said that they thought they should be allowed to put locks on their lockers and only 12.5 percent stated locks were not needed.
Some of the students that thought locks on lockers were needed attributed this need to concerns about theft or damage to their property. Several students indicated that they currently have to hide money in their locker for after-school events to ensure that it is secure, and one student reported that subjects have entered the student’s locker and broken the student’s pens.
The 12.5 percent of students that responded that locks were not needed only stated they were not needed, and commented that nobody steals items from the lockers.
An interview was conducted with Maddie Shaw, who attended GSB and now attends high school at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle. Interestingly, Lincoln Academy does allow locks on school lockers.
Maddie stated that she was the victim of theft from her locker at GSB, when pencils and pens would be stolen. She further stated that when she went to Lincoln Academy, she had not received her lock for her locker yet, and someone stole a pair of expensive cross-trainer shoes from her locker.
Maddie commented that locks are needed and would have prevented the theft of her property at GSB and also at Lincoln Academy. She also noted that the escalation from a minor theft to the theft of expensive sneakers is alarming.
The National Center for Education Statistics provides statistics on a national level. It provided data reference on the percentage of students ages 12-18 who reported criminal victimization at school in 2001-2015. In 2001, 4 percent reported being a victim of theft, and in 2015, 2 percent of the students reported being a theft victim.
What some readers may not realize is this reporter was also a victim of theft while attending school, when a fleece jacket was stolen from an unlocked locker.
Theft from lockers is occurring, as noted by the National Center for Education Statistics.
The overwhelming majority of students in the seventh and eighth grade at GSB would like locks on their lockers to prevent theft and destruction of property. Most importantly, having locks on lockers would provide a sense of security of one’s personal belongings, so the students can concentrate on being good students and getting the best education they can. Why should students worry about their fleece jacket not being there when they need it at the end of the day?