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The UAM Hub

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April 12, 2024

Thefts at UAM

Sumudu Mohottige
Published on February 6, 2021 NIKON CORPORATION, NIKON D90 Free to use under the Unsplash License

The Urban Assembly for Media Studies (UAM) has been going through a series of thefts ranging from TI-84 calculators, Apple MacBook computers, and even parts of a skeleton model that were used in a living environment classroom to help students develop an understanding of anatomy. 

Father Moses’s skeleton had a jaw go missing while he was out of the building.

TI-84 calculators typically range from $100-158 per calculator, and the additional stolen computers can be over $1000 each. When interviewed,  Ms. Xulie Payano, a math teacher at UAM, explained what occurred this past month in her classroom. 

Ms. Payano details the thefts of calculators in math classrooms at UAM.

“Multiple of these items have been stolen, which has left the school and its students without the materials that are needed to do basic subjects. Because of these thefts, most math classes have resorted to doing hard math by hand or to sharing a calculator between three students. It has cost the school money which could be used for trips or more funding for clubs.” 

Ms. Payano also shared her opinion on the motivation behind the theft, “Each calculator is worth $100 dollars, so we’re talking about $1,600 dollars total. Plus, Ms. Ipsen’s calculators also went missing, and that’s a whole 28, which is $2800. If you add it all together, we really have lost $5000”.

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This has led to a big problem surrounding trust. How are teachers supposed to act in an environment where they can’t trust their students to not steal? Ms. Payano shared how these events have changed her behavior and made her fearful  “I don’t leave my phone out anymore.” 

This pattern continues, as UAM’s art teacher, Mr. Jared Peer, shared with us. On one of the days he wasn’t present, his laptops were stolen. 

Mr. Peer’s laptops were stolen while he was out of the building.

¨Apparently my laptop cart was either unlocked or left open by mistake, and when I came back, I believe, three to four laptops went missing.”

These thefts can only be affecting teachers by making it more difficult to have a trusting relationship with them. But how do students feel about the thefts at UAM?

According to one student, who asked to remain anonymous, when asked about the thefts happening, they discussed how the freshmen are forced to put their belongings in their lockers to prevent the theft, ¨I don’t feel like every freshman should be responsible for the actions of others.”

Due to the thefts occurring, students are facing consequences. Additionally, students may feel that their belongings aren’t safe, which is something that affects the school environment at UAM. 

When asked if there were any rules placed after the increase of thefts at UAM, Mr. Baldwin Pena shared that “No, I do think that the management of the equipment has become stricter”. He went on to say how procedures are already put in place in order to make sure school items are safe, such as sign in sheets when borrowing items like cameras.

If the thefts at UAM continue, will trust in the UAM community slowly decrease? There may be some students suspected, but without proof, nothing can be done. 

The Hub will stay on this story’s lead and will be sure to keep our community informed as this story develops further.

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About the Contributors
Lisseth Mendez
Lisseth is a sophomore at UAM high school and is a part of the UAM Hub newspaper. She enjoys spending time with friends and learning new things.
Milena Benmergui
Milena Benmergui is a sophomore at UAM high school. She loves reading and watching movies. She is currently learning American Sign Language.
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