Case of the missing computers

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The RBHS media center has been dealing with a problem of students stealing laptops. (Feature photo by Kat Sarafianos)

Kat Sarafianos

The media center has been dealing with a problem of students stealing laptops. On Dec. 10, Media center specialist Beth Shapiro, sent out a staff-wide email asking teachers to reinforce to their students that students must return laptops after the block that they use them and that they are not permitted to bring them home overnight.
According to the email, there have been a number of problems regarding students, freshmen especially, taking laptops home and not returning them.  
“One of the staff members in the media center discovered two freshmen who were pulling out school laptops from their backpacks,” Shapiro said. “She talked to them and found out word was going around that freshman were thinking it was ok to take home a laptop overnight if you didn’t finish a school assignment.”
Freshman Dharti Patel has had similar experiences with students taking laptops.
“I’ve never [stolen a laptop], but I’ve definitely seen a student who just took a laptop without checking it out and the librarians had to chase after him and yell at him,” Patel said. “I think it’s just because no one wants to wait in the really long lines for computers.”
Patel refers to the changes in the media center check out process that were instituted last year which created very long lines when classes check out laptops.
Shapiro said the media center implemented this method so that lines would become shorter, not longer.
“It’s different because before this year the librarian technicians held the laptops behind the counter and checked them out to you,” junior Madison Wright said. “This year they just expect you to take one off a cart and check it out yourself. Freshmen are probably confused because they never went through it.”
Patel feels on top of the confusion, some students take laptops home because of lack of computer access.
“I think students take them home because they need them for projects and they don’t have a computer at home, but I definitely don’t think it’s necessary for them to steal,” Patel said. “They should just work it out with their teachers.”
The media center also has implemented ted different solutions to students who don’t have computer access at home.
“We open [the media center]  before school starts at 4:30, and we don’t close till five,” Shapiro said. “There’s no reason students should be taking them.”