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Students forced to keep bags under lock and key

A string of thefts in the school has left students with no other alternative but to stash their belongings under lock and key.

Students of Antonio da Silva High School
Breaktime burglary: Students of Antonio da Silva High School have been left with no option but to lock their bags to prevent theft PICS/SATYAJIT DESAI

The students have complained to the teachers as well as the school principal about their belongings being stolen from their classrooms while they are out during recess. As a measure to check the high incidence of theft at the school, students have been advised to lock their bags.

The items stolen range from stationary and notes to valuables. Rahul Vaid (name changed), a secondary student, said, “The thefts usually happen when we go out for recess. A student in the secondary section lost his iPhone in school.”

Sunil Shah (name changed), another student, said, “The thefts happen in the Std V to X classrooms. Sometimes a student loses pens and pencils, sometimes even files in which we keep our notes. The students also lose their journals if they are neat and complete.”

Ashish Mane (name changed) said, “Our belongings are also stolen when we are punished and made to stand outside the classrooms. It is not that it just happens during recess. When we complained to our teachers, they only suggested that we lock our bags with a small but good lock.”

Jaya Doshi (name changed), a parent of a Std IX student, said, “My son has often complained to me about the thefts happening in his classroom. In fact, he asked me to get a lock so that he can keep his bag safely. The students complain to their teachers, but thefts still take place during school hours, which is really bad.”

School says
Susana Gomes, principal of the school, said, “We have instructed students not to wear valuable things during school hours like gold chains, or bracelets or even bring flashy and expensive watches to show off.

This instruction was given when we observed that thefts had started happening. We only suggested they put their bags in lockers. Moreover, when a child complains that he has lost his notes, we ask for proof, because sometimes students lie to avoid punishment for incomplete work. The school has issued a circular to the parents stating that we will soon be installing CCTV cameras so that we can keep an eye on every classroom and the thefts can be stopped. Some parents have agreed and some have not.” 

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