Today I was talking to the Principal about the great art supply heist, saying that I felt so badly about it, and wasn’t sure what to do about it. She suggested that I play “the silent game” in which each student gets a piece of paper, and are asked to write any information they have about the missing stuff. If they didn’t know, they would write that, so everyone would be writing. No names. That sounded plausible, so I tried it.
The first class all either didn’t know, or named people in the other class. Then the second class came in. Before I had a chance to say a word, Salvador came in crowing, “I know who took your pens! I have them! I have about four. (I thought he meant packs. He meant pens!) Jose took them – I found them in his backpack.” He dug around in his pack and dragged out two markers, one with no lid and the other with a lid full of crumbled potato chips. That was a start. I thanked him, then explained the writing assignment to them. They all got busy writing.
I now have a list of names. I learned of some other stolen things as well. Interestingly (but not surprisingly) enough, the people who were named as the culprits all said “IDK” or “I wish I knew, but…” So now that I have names, I have to figure out what to do next! I’m thinking about using a Love and Logic technique. I’d say, “I have a list of names, and I’m trying to figure out what to do next. I’m hoping someone has an idea, or they just come forward with my stuff so I don’t have to decide about giving the names to the Assistant Principal Because it’s stolen school and personal property, I don’t know if he’ll want to call the sheriff or what. So I’m just hoping I get things back so I don’t have to do decide.” I’m not sure if that is the best tactic, or not, but it’s what I”m thinking now.
On the bright side, my favorite note said something like this: “Dear Ms. Jacob, I don’t know who stole your supplies. You respect us and share your things with us. I would never steal from someone who shows me respect and shares with me. I’m very sorry this happened. Sincerely, Your Friend.” I have to remember that one when the sadness over the others gets to me. It’ll ease the pain, for sure.