Student petitions for camera to be installed in response to weight room thefts

Meggie Furlong, social media manager

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Petitioning an issue is an avenue some students take to have their voices heard.

Students like Riley Pemstein, junior, sensed a problem in the school when money was stolen from his backpack outside the weight room. He reported the theft to the school resource officer and discussed it with his peers, who he learned had also faced similar thefts. In response, Pemstein thought of a solution and began to advocate for its installation.

The weight room thefts total $150 since March, according to Pemstein. To curb these thefts, Pemstein decided to petition the school for a camera to be placed and monitored outside the weight room, where backpacks are kept. As of May 8, 202 students and faculty members signed the petition.

“The biggest problem is that there’s probably twenty to thirty people who go up to the weight room after school every single day, and everyone leaves their backpacks outside the weight room because we’re not given locks, because we’re not in a sport,” Pemstein said. “Someone comes in, very often, and goes through the backpacks, and steals people’s money. It has happened numerous times.”

However, until a camera is possibly installed, Mark Frey, school resource officer, offers short term solutions.

“There are lockers outside the weight room up there [because] it’s been an issue last year, an issue this year, so the school did put in lockers outside of the weight room, but they do need to supply their own lock,” Frey said. “Another thing they could do is find the supervisor that is up there and talk to them and ask ‘hey can you watch my bag?,’or put it in the PE office. There are ways they could secure their stuff.”

The options for securing valuables while lifting do come with flaws. The lockers provided cannot fit many normal sized backpacks and the weight room supervisors are not able to watch for thefts while also performing their job, Pemstein said.

“Students should be responsible for their own things, and there are other avenues in which the can keep their stuff locked up,” Nick Summers, weight room supervisor, said. “I know it’s not always easy for them because they’re not in a spring sport and the PE locker room is closed, but I’m working with PE makeups, I’m monitoring the track, I’m monitoring the weight room, I’m helping people lift, those are the things that make it difficult to supervise every aspect of it all.”

However, there are other options, if a camera is not installed, according to Summers.

“I think the long term solution would be to provide these students with some kind of access to a locker room,” Summers said. “[One] that is supervised where they can put their belongings and have access to and from. That [would be best].”

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