Food Stolen In Commons

Thefts bring worries to staff, students and administrators


Photo: Max Ruscher

This is a busy commons during afternoon intensive snack.

This school year, students have been stealing from the Commons Cafe according to the Commons staff. The Commons staff do not know how much food and drinks have been taken.
“We just know who we’ve caught,” Felicia Lindholm said. “And we do that by seeing it or by looking at the camera.”
After the Commons staff spots a person stealing, they report the incident to Ms. Wu and other administrators.
“What I try to do is if we can identify who the students are, we’ll bring them in and talk to them individually, but we also try to send out messages to the middle school students,” Director of Middle School, Susie Wu said.
According to Wu, one of the messages told to the middle school is that the Commons Cafe is not part of the school.
“I don’t work with the school. We’re a separate entity,” Lindholm said. “So everything that’s out there, the kitchen pays for.”
Wu urges the Commons Cafe staff to tell her when somebody stole something so that she can hold people responsible for the actions they take.
“I encourage them to let me know when there are thefts that are happening,” Wu said. “[So] that we know about it and that we can hold them accountable for their actions.”
The Commons, sometimes with help from the administration, have made certain measures to prevent thefts in the Commons.
“We took the away after-school [service] for a while, so locking everything up,” Lindholm said.
Some people could not believe the facts being told to them from either Wu or a Commons monitor.
“It’s just not fair to the Commons workers that we are stealing,” seventh grader Gregor Schuchart said.
The Commons Cafe staff along with the administration has had to find ways for theft prevention during the last semester, but along with students, the Commons staff had to work with Commons thefts on their minds.
“When people take things and that still includes school, they’re stealing from the six of us. So, it’s not cool,” Lindholm said.
When students who have been caught stealing talk to Lindholm, many people said, I don’t know or shrugged. Wu believes that something like peer pressure or a lack of responsibility is at fault.
“I think in friend groups, they’re just trying to get away with stuff and they’re daring each other,” Wu said. “Sometimes they’re careless and they just are thirsty after a practice and they really need a drink right that moment and they think no one is looking and they’re just going to do it and not get caught.”
Wu believes that finding the students responsible for the thefts is a priority because of the want to have everybody feel a sense of safety and consistency.
“We are [a] community who cares about each other, and we should model that as well,” said Wu.