Last Updated: Aug. 26, 2013
Young people ages 12 to 17 are far more likely to be victims of property crimes than adults. Most of these crimes occur on school grounds and are never reported. Protecting personal property and athletic gear doesn't mean your child can't have nice things with them or enjoy them. It does mean teaching them how to carefully watch or secure their property at all times.
If a student doesn't absolutely need something during the school day, they should leave it at home. It's fine to listen to a music player on the way to and from school, but once around others it's better to tuck it in a pocket of a backpack or keep it out of sight. Bragging about new sneakers or sports apparel calls attention to them.
Lockers can be broken into easily, especially if they are not properly closed. Make sure your child knows how to shut their locker tightly at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom. Request a different locker if the one assigned to your child is not working properly. Gym lockers are the most vulnerable to theft because they are often left unlocked, and changing rooms are usually not monitored.
Even if valuables are left unattended in a child's duffel or backpack, no one has the right to take them. Train your child to report the theft immediately to school authorities and to you, and the police. Note the date, time, and location of the incident. If someone else witnessed the theft, ask for the person's full name. Prompt reporting is an important factor in recovering stolen items.
Students who watch out for each other make the entire school safer and more enjoyable. They also learn the best ways to report theft and suspicious activities.