Theft from schools a costly problem Board to hear report on vandalism and vote on next year's calendar

April 06, 1993|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer

School vandalism and theft have cost close to $93,000 this school year, according to a new report.

The number of vandalism incidents is down by half to 207, but the 41 thefts so far this school year almost exceeds the number of thefts for all of last school year, according to Ronald Miller, an insurance and safety specialist who will present the report at tonight's Board of Education meeting.

And the value of the thefts -- more than $63,000 -- is triple what it was last year, Mr. Miller said.

Some major thefts occurred at:

* Glenelg High School last month, when $2,100 in cash and checks was stolen from a safe. There was no sign of tampering. Students and wrestlers had deposited the money after selling pizza and candy as fund-raisers.

* Mt. Hebron High School, where a $5,000 lawn mower was stolen from a storage shed earlier this school year.

A small amount of gas also was taken.

* Burleigh Manor Middle School last August, when more than $18,000 in electronic equipment was stolen before school opened. Thieves took disc players, videocassette cameras, camcorders and tools.

The most expensive graffiti cleanup was at Oakland Mills High School in January.

Unknown vandals spray-painted signs and slogans on sidewalks and the building, costing close to $670 to remove. It has cost a total of $2,400 to clean up after 26 graffiti incidents at almost 20 schools this school year.

"This is something the school system is concerned about," said Associate Superintendent Sydney Cousin. "Any loss is something we should be concerned about. It takes time, material or labor [to get rid of graffiti] or money to replace lost or stolen articles."

The school system has a $10,000 deductible insurance policy, so almost all repairs or replacements come out of the operating budget.

Also at the meeting, the school board will vote on next year's pTC school calendar and schedule for board meetings.

The first day of school is tentatively set for Aug. 30 and the last, June 16. Spring break is also tentatively set to begin March 28.

The board delayed its vote on next year's calendar pending legislative approval for a waiver to the 180-day mandatory attendance for kindergartners.

Teachers and parents had lobbied against the policy and had hoped kindergartners wouldn't have to attend school a couple of days at the end of the school year or during parent-teacher conferences.

A House and a Senate bill are expected to be passed before the General Assembly finishes this month.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.