Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gypsies, Tramps, and MIDDLE SCHOOL THIEVES

We had an hour long teacher's meeting in the cafeteria after school on Wednesday. I was trying to pack up a package up a Christmas present to mail in the 6 minutes that I had after student dismissal until the time for the meeting to start...

I looked up at the clock and realized that I had to leave NOW.. so, I wasn't late. In my haste, I didn't lock the outside or inside (hallway) door to my classroom.. So, I left and left my coat also.. since, there isn't a place to put your coat, sitting in the cafeteria chairs, and the cafeteria is right outside my 'outside' door.

Since, my hand injury- I've been keeping my money in a small 'make-up' bag in my coat pocket. Not a place anyone would look- and easy access w/ an injured hand. I wasn't carrying a purse anymore- just something to hold my military ID/etc.

Well, imagine my surprise when 'after school' I finished up what I needed to do for the package and departed my classroom to go to the post-office before they closed. (didn't make it) Sitting in my car, I checked how much American money I had in my little 'money bag' so I could determine if I needed to go to the MONEY MACHINE prior to the post-office or not..

AND, I found that the bag was GONE from my pocket. I was running short on time and I didn't go back to my room- because I figured it had just fallen out of my pocket when I threw my coat down on top of the cardboard box, against the wall, and behind my desk (the only place to put my coat). So, I didn't worry about and went on to the post-office.

Well, the next morning.. I searched the area where my coat was and the little blue silk Asian make-up bag (uh, money bag) wasn't there. I went to the office to see if it had been turned in and it hadn't. :(

Problem is.. the bag had over $450.00 in Korean won and about $45.00 in USA money. I had just gone to the money machine to get won to 'do the last of the Christmas shopping'...

About an hour later- the secretary calls me to let me know that the bag had been found in the 6th grade girl's bathroom that morning. EMPTY of all paper MONEY!! They did leave my 'multi-subway pass', the coins, and my stamps. (about $4.00 in coins)

So, someone either entered the unlocked classroom (my fault totally for forgetting to lock it- but, all students know not to go back into a classroom after school and especially to STEAL SOMETHING) and took my money from my coat pocket.

OR... someone found it in the 'female staff's bathroom', in the hallway outside my classroom, where I might have gone right after school on my way to the post-office. I usually throw my coat down on my 'heavy teacher's bag'.. and it could have fallen out of my pocket and I didn't realize it- especially in my haste to leave. *NOW, I'm not for sure IF I WENT TO THE BATHROOM on my way out of the building that afternoon- but, it is very likely that I did do so- since, the bathroom is on my way out the hallway to depart the building and I do stop there often on my way home?? *It is the teacher's bathroom, but children do use it- even though they aren't supposed to do so- no way to monitor it- because of the location.

THE WHOLE POINT IS.. someone took the MONEY THAT THEY KNEW WASN'T their property. AND, here's the sad thing- the office is right where my classroom and the 'bathroom in question is located' so, it would have been so easy to turn in the 'lost' make-up 'now' money bag' to the office... OR take it right back to my unlocked classroom -before I got back to my room an hour later.

THE LOST and FOUND is right outside my classroom hallway door- so, it is possible that a student was in that hallway after school- they've been making announcements to come and find your 'stuff' before it gets donated to Afghanistan at winter break.

Now, you might ask.. how, on earth would any students know that I kept my 'money bag' in my coat pocket? Well, I dismiss my students for lunch and sometimes I walk right up there w/ them and they've seen me take money out of my coat pocket to make sure I have enough.

AND, worst of all.. 6th graders were the class DISMISSED for lunch the day that I lost my MONEY and I had unzipped my 'money bag' while getting the kids in line at the outside door to go to the lunchroom, and some of my coins fell out of my money bag .. and some kids helped me pick it up. AND, as a result.. many students saw the 2inches thick of KOREAN MONEY in my bag!

I'd hate to think that a kid that goes to my school or even that I teach (if they came into my classroom and took it out of my coat pocket) did this.. but, the fact is.. it was done that way and the 'bag' was found EMPTY except for:

My Christmas stamps, the coins, and my subway pass. woo hooo

AND, none of our children 'are poor' as you'd find in the states. They are only living here because either one or both parents are either in the military or work for the US Government. Housing and utilities are paid for by the government. AND, children of the military also receive: Free medical, dental, eye care.

SIGH.. another day.. another dollar to 'earn' back..


Marykz said...

that totally sucks. I'm so sorry!!! and its awful to think it was one of your students. :(

I hope today is a much better day.

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

We still don't know who did it..
and the amount that they stole isn't just 'petty cash' either.. it's a real crime amount.