student stealing

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by lcluigs03, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Oct 31, 2007

    what do you do about a student stealing from you and/or kids? i've caught a student TWICE now stealing from me. they are little things (pencil grips and stickers), but still. if he steals that and gets away with it, what makes him think he won't get away with something bigger?

    HELP!

    LC
     
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  3. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Oct 31, 2007

    First talk to the student and the call the parents immediately.
     
  4. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 1, 2007

    I have had this problem for the first time this year. I asked our maintenance man to put a small hasp lock on my cabinets and closet. I keep my own valuables in there. Other than that, I lock my classroom every time I step out.

    Be sure your administrator knows what is going on. What grade is it?
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    lcluigs03, I agree that it may be tiny stuff now, but that's how it all begins if it's not nipped in the bud & shown to this kid that this kind of thing is extremely serious. I would definitely be extremely firm, give a suitable punishment, & talk to the kid's parents the FIRST time the kid steals.

    Serial rapists/killers started off being mean/abusive to animals, etc. & look how they ended up.
     
  6. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Stealing is something you want to punish. For punishment to work best, it should be especially harsh the FIRST time, otherwise it starts to take more and more effort.

    I think Mrs.I is going a little far by bringing up serial killers, but in principle she's absolutely correct.
     
  7. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    geez... after the post on serial killers, the next post is that punishment should be especially harsh the FIRST time :lol:

    Am I the only one that put the two of those posts together and thought in my head "death penalty"?

    ETA: Not that I condone that... just saying it was a thought...
     
  8. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Nov 1, 2007

    Oh good grief.

    Punish the thief the first time and every time thereafter, and make it dreadful enough that the other children will think twice before choosing to steal.

    Is the child stealing food? If so, you might want to check on him at lunchtime to make sure he's getting something to eat. Sometimes children steal food because they're hungry and driven to it.

    Nevertheless, punish the thief and feed him, too. And if he's stealing little non-food items, maybe he just wants attention. Give him some that he'll not soon want to repeat.
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Following along with the thought process by previous posters, as Barney Fife would say "Nip it in the bud" We had to call the police to school for a student caught stealing - parents not surprised - kid had been stealing from them. :( So so sad
     
  10. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I have a thief in my class too. He was caught red-handed. Called dad in that same day to discuss it with him. Dad's reply, "What color was it? We can go out tonight and find you one just like it, ok buddy?"
    :eek::eek:
    I wonder if dad will say that to him when he brings home a stolen car and the police come after him.:huh:
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    ^ This is why the world has gone to pot.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    My nephew stole a dollar off my sister's kitchen table once when he was about 5. She asked a friend who was a police officer to stop over after work (still in uniform) and give him a "talk". Never happened again.
     
  13. newteachfl

    newteachfl Companion

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    Nov 2, 2007

    I too have a thief in my class. He's a repeat offender and I've caught him stealing about 4 times. He now sits by himself and I check his backpack every morning and every afternoon when he leaves. He knows that he cannot leave with anything that he didn't come with. I also make him turn out the pockets in his pants. I told him I will continue to do this until he has earned back my trust because stealing is very serious blah blah blah. Seems to be working so far....or maybe he's just getting better at it :)
     
  14. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Hope it was clear my point wasn't that you shouldn't stop punishing after the first incident, merely that after the first punishment fails you need to ratchet it up a lot to get the second one to work.

    Note that while the father is probably highly annoying to you, it's not necessarily the case that his approach won't work, if the reason for the theft was because the child wanted the item.
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    huh?
     
  16. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    i talked to dad and he punished the student. he stole pencil grips, stickers and a bag of microwave pop corn. he is not a hungry kid, so that's not the case. attention? he gets it from everyone! he's a spoiled kid that thinks he can get away with anything. he is missing recess for a week and i am having the school resource officer come in and talk with him.

    LC
     
  17. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Thievery

    WE have had a problem with a Kindergartener who stole all types of different things. My team mate, who has this child, made a point to lock her door, but I did not and he accessed her room by coming thru mine and going down our adjoining hallway. Well, he often just left the lunchroom, or bus line and no one would notice (he has all other kinds of problems) and he snuck back into her class, went into the top drawer of her file cabinet and took $150.00 out of her intern's purse. The intern had forgotten to take the money out after going to the bank. Anyway, when the school aide caught him with the money(luckily) and the principal called his Mom, Mom said, oh yeah-that's MY money, he must have taken it from our house! We were stunned. It was a blatant lie. The principal told her no, it belonged to a teacher and Mom said maybe she was wrong. Mom was HAPPY that her son was bring stuff home. Good grief!
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Hopefully your thief is genuinely regretful. Many times sneaky kids just think of a better way to not get caught. Since he knows that his backpack & pockets are checked, I wouldn't be surprised if he hides things (that will fit of course) in his shoe, slides it down the waistband of his pants in the back, or has another classmate help him out, but then you can't strip search him, so the result is he still gets away w/ it.
     
  19. Xgomenara9

    Xgomenara9 Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2007

    A student stealing means that he or she really likes you. She or He want to be like you.
     
  20. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Nov 3, 2007

    never heard that before.
     
  21. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    So what if they steal a bag of money with $150???

    I really don't get that :down:
     
  22. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I am very confused. Is this abc teach? Are we communing with Mars?
     
  23. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    Nov 3, 2007

    LOL
     
  24. kalsjh

    kalsjh Rookie

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    cell phone stolen!

    Yes! My cell phone was stolen today. I have noidea who stole it. I did not realize it was stolen until one of my fourth block kid came and told me that he had come across one of my third block kid telling everyone how he stole my cell phone! Don't know how to address them tomorrow.
     
  25. Jungle

    Jungle Companion

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I found out that one of my kiddos had been stealing my books. His mom and grandma found them and brought them in. He'd even marked my name out and written his in. When questioned about it, he admitted doing it because he was jealous that I had so many books and he didn't. He then said that he planned to sell them.

    Where does a 9 year old learn something like that?

    For punishment, he missed recess for a week and had to work cleaning the school. He actually enjoyed it...., so that didn't work!
     
  26. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Hmmm, I know how upsetting this can be. I've had the same student steal from me twice this year. The first time she stole my class suppy of dry erase markers. The second time she stole my id badge with my important cards like my credit card, ss card, etc.

    I decided not to turn her into the office because suspension would not help her. It just means she'll be out of school in a poor environment. She would just get into more trouble there.

    I decided to sit down with her after school one day to discuss why she was stealing from me. At first, she wouldn't answer. Then, she realized I wasn't yelling at her. I simply wanted to know why.

    Well, long story short. She stole the dry erase markers because she doesn't have a ready supply of erasers at home or writing paper. She wanted to use the markers at home becaues she could write on the windows and mirrors and erase them. She stole my ID badge so that she could get into the school during the weekend because she didn't want to be at home. She did not know my credit card was in there. She just knew that I opened the door with my badge holder.

    We discussed possible solutions. I agreed to buy her a dry erase marker as a "Winter" break present, provided that she did not steal from me again. While I could not allow her into the building on the weekends, we did discuss places she could go, like the community library.

    This little girl has other issues, but she has not stolen from me again. Maybe you could try to talk to the little boy. Find out his reason for stealing. It might take little bit, but he should be able to tell you.

    Perhaps he likes the stickers because they make him feel like he's done a good job. Could you maybe put small stickers on exemplary work? Or maybe you could make some kind of treasure chest. The students could earn the treats.

    I hope this helps :D
     
  27. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    That is so sad. I'm glad you were able to come up with solutions to help her. Hopefully, she will not steal again.

    I had three boys steal from me last year when I taught kinder. One stole a glue bottle because he wanted to do art projects at home and didn't have a glue bottle, the other stole dry erase markers that the students used (no clue why he stole them), and the third stole those little teddy bear manipulatives because his aunt collected bears and he wanted to bring them home to her (I told him that if he ever wanted to take something home to his family, that he needed to ask me first. So, then he asks me, "can I take the bears home?" :rolleyes: I explained that if he took them home, what would we use during math time.)
     
  28. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 17, 2007

    ditto....

    nobody steals because they like you

    the steal because they want something!

    If they really liked you, they would be giving you stuff!
     
  29. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    "Give back my phone or your behind is going to jail!

    How's that?
     
  30. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Now, that istoo low, to steal, and to mark your name out. that is something that he learned, which is sad. He knows enough to block out proof that he stole it! :unsure:

    and he wanted to sell them.... Jeez, that does sound like a mini drug dealer in the works!
     
  31. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    In a civilized country, theft carries the punishment of losing ones fingers or hands. It is no wonder our social discipline has become so lax that the rewards for a crime far outweigh its punishment.
     
  32. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Nov 17, 2007

    Well, I have special ed. pre-k, and some are non-English speakers. Say that three times! :lol:

    I took over a class, and the teacher had everything. I had nothing. So naturally she was a little po'd because she had to move all her stuff. I was upset too, because I had to BUY all this stuff. I worked in Head Start, where we had everything. Teachers hardly spent a dime!

    I would be in the middle of a calendar lesson, and look up and the months of the year were gone! so I figured, what's the point, I might as well just ad lib until she cleans out the room, and I get my stuff on the walls.

    Finally picked up some teaching supplies, and got some office supplies from the office. I thought I had lost my mind when I misplaced 10 or more numbers from the calendar. I knew I had laminated them and cut them out. so, good teacher that I am, I made two more sets from extra cards.

    Wednesday, took a girl to the bathroom, and while she was washing her hands, guess what I spied sticking out of her pocket??

    Yep! A set of my calendar numbers 15-20. "What are you doing with these?" I demanded! "Another girl told me to take them."

    This was my SECOND set! So now I am sure I did not go crazy, the first set probably went home!!

    In a workshop, one teacher suggested that I put my calendar pieces in a tuppeware dish, because she says they can't open those. I am really frustrated because I don't have any money as it is. Spent all this time laminating, cutting and sticking this stuff on the wall. Now I see them pulling at it, and taking off binder clips that hold the teacher edition books!! I told them..."This is my space! You will not touch anything over here!"

    I may just resort to picking up the teachers books and my numbers and keeping them off the floor until I am using them! I know you can make this a teachable moment. But I have special, little ones...and the are low income. If I have to keep buying or making calendar pieces, I will be going crazy!

    In the meantime, I put a piece of laminated plastic across the calendar numbers, so they won't move them!

    sheesh!

    And, I lock my door at the end of the day. I don't want kids or teachers, or parents shopping in my room. All kinds of folks are in the halls. I think I will keep my phone and wallet in my car from now on. you guys are scaring me!
     

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