Latin So Safe that Students Confuse “Cleaning” with “Stealing”

Chase Kaplan People at Latin feel generally safe to leave their possessions out in the open while they go to the bathroom or grab a quick snack. But is this decision really a safe one? The answer, statistically, is probably. Nine out of nine students asked at random recall leaving an electronic (phone, laptop, etc.) out in the open, realizing they forgot it, and it still being there when they returned to get it. The truth is, Latin is a very safe place for students, and although it’s always a bad idea to leave your things out in the open unattended, if you are going to be careless, Latin is the place to do so. In fact, one student even recalls another student they didn’t know well seeking them out to return a lost wallet. With Latin as small a size as it is, most people know and care about (to some degree) each other. A big part of anonymous petty theft is the anonymous part, and within Latin, for most, it would seem awkward to steal from someone the thief would see on such a regular basis. Students commonly misconceive that if they left something in the school overnight and it isn’t there the next day, then someone stole it. These students fail to realize that they are not in fact being robbed. Their missing items are simply a result of the building getting cleaned. Anything left behind for the night is in the hands of the janitorial staff, and people often will write it off as “stealing.”  The janitors have better things to do than to search for forgetful people and return their carelessly lost possessions, so if you’ve left something overnight don’t count on it being there in the morning. These items typically get carefully set aside, placed in the lost and found or moved to a place where it can be found later. Another big part of safety within Latin is badging in and out.  One student learned the importance of this when he happened to walk into the building just as a lockdown drill had begun. The student had practically just finished scanning his badge, when the alarm blared and he was ordered into the bathroom next to the Loggia and was told to lock the door. Peeking out of the door occasionally, he recalls listening in as the front desk workers communicated with walkie-talkies and kept track of his location. He says he didn’t realize how important it was that everyone was accounted for until this experience and understands why he had to sit in a bathroom for 20 or so minutes. Latin is a very safe school. Although it has had its incidents (such as the laptop thefts a few years ago), people here are generally kind, morally strong, and know one another well enough to be dissuaded from stealing. The park and other areas near and around Latin are a different story, but if you’ve lost track of something within the controlled environment of the school, chances are you will find it, and that no one stole it.]]>