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High School Officials Looking into Upgrading Locks, Installing Security Cameras to Avoid Locker Room Thefts

Principal says administrators are seeking solutions but they may be costly.

Administrators at are considering changing locks and installing security cameras near athletics locker rooms, after several football players on Friday had their while they were at an away game.

The issue comes after several parents said this is not the first or second time student athletes are victims of theft from school locker rooms. This time, police said students had phones, wallets, money and other electronic devices stolen.

Principal Mary Villano acknowledged the problem has happened in the past.

“We have so many doors and so many groups using the school, it’s very hard to control who’s coming in and out of the building,” the principal added. “We do the best we can, but it’s difficult to monitor.”

The first step is ensuring locker rooms are in fact locked once students place their belongings there, Villano said.

“But if people already have keys, that’s a tough thing to control,” she added. “We are working on changing the locks on the outside of the building and having new keys cut so people who are on staff will be able to get into the building.”

Villano said administrators are also looking into installing more security cameras outside locker rooms. And they may also explore upgrading lockers to more secure ones, she added.

But the problem is how costly the alternatives may be.

“Some of the solutions to the problem are very costly, so we’re trying to figure out how to do that,” Villano said.

Parent John Jacey wrote an email to Superintendent Kathleen Bodie, Principal Mary Villano and the , asking for a discussion at the committee’s next meeting about how to solve the issue.

As of this writing, Bodie had not replied to repeated phone calls seeking comment on the matter.

Sauer Kraut October 26, 2011 at 01:53 PM
In January 2010, a freshman Irish immigrant student at South Hadley High School, Phoebe Prince, ended her life after weeks of harassment and bullying - much of under the watchful eyes of hallways cameras at South Hadley High School. Why do I mention the Phoebe Prince case? Because her case shows how useless these expensive cameras really are. Many schools have them installed but few schools monitor those cameras and even fewer tape events. What would work better is if the school district handed out fewer keys, assigned a monitor to the hallways outside of locker rooms during practices/contests, and placed locks that work into all doors that provide access to the locker rooms. Only then will the repetitive thefts be brought to a halt. Cameras will only make people think the problem is solved. They will not provide safety and they will NOT be the cure to this very real problem.

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