Last year, a group of Claremont Middle School’s super-parents raised money for a digital media lab so that kids could learn professional video editing and animation software. They lent a good amount of creativity and elbow grease to the project, devoting weekend days before the start of school.
Mike Mages, one of the dads who spearheaded the project, was there when the lab opened this fall. And last month, he came running to the scene after a major break-in. Mages said thieves ripped off four of the school’s 20 new iMacs, a projector and a 52-inch LCD display just before winter break.
The thing that really bothers Mages, though, is that the theft might have been prevented. He said school administrators had requested deadbolts months before the burglary, and that they never came — well, at least until after the damage had been done.
“Literally, within an hour of the break-in, they had guys here putting locks in,” he said. “I call them the $8,000 locks.”
Now I don’t know the other side of the story, but this doesn’t sound like an unusual scenario. I suspect it’s a staffing issue, at least in part — which doesn’t bode well for the response time after the next round of budget cuts.
What will it take for OUSD to better protect its assets, and what can schools (and parents) do in the meantime?