Oakland High school was forced into an emergency lockdown May 13, 2013. Staff and students were told to remain inside of class and teachers to lock their doors until further instructions were given. No students were allowed out or in. During the lockdown neither teachers nor students knew what the cause of the lockdown was.
According to Anisa Rasheed, Interim Principal, the school was placed on lockdown due to a robbery that took place in one of the school’s boys’ restrooms. Rasheed added that there was a weapon involved which was carried by one of 3 suspects, the victim was robbed of an iPod, Phone, and small amount of cash.
Around the Oakland High campus, students pride themselves on having the newest technological devices from iPhones to iPads to laptops. But when students decide they want these things but can’t afford them, some take them from others. Throughout the year many students have had their electronics taken on or near by the campus.
Not only have students been getting robbed, but some have even been physically harmed. Other theft victims have just had their things taken and gotten away without a scratch. Administrators have been taking steps to prevent these thefts from happening.
The school has recently gone to further means and enforced occasional metal-detector “wanding” before students enter the campus. Rasheed said, ”Wanding is a safety measure to send a message about the danger of having weapons on school campus.”
Some students have protested saying that wanding holds up the entrance to the school.
Assistant Principal Shoshana Towers said, “Students need to report these thefts that happen and not be afraid to report them out of fear of retaliation.” However, many students fear that if they report the crime, the thieves will come back and harm them.
In addition to affecting the way students feel about bringing their personal electronic devices, these thefts have also led students to question how safe they feel at school.
“Most of the time, I do not feel safe bringing my electronics to school,” said senior Melissa Moeuk. “I have to always be aware and attentive of my surroundings.”
In many European countries and Australia, new software has been developed and placed inside of electronic devices that allows for the device to be disabled and labeled as useless once it has been stolen or lost.
District Attorney of San Francisco George Gascón has been trying to get telecommunications companies to produce technology that will allow for electronic devices to be disabled by owner once they are stolen or lost. Gascón complained that he has gotten the runaround from many companies such as Apple.
After a meeting with Apple’s Michael Foulkes, Gascón said, “He did most of the talking. It was incredible. He would just go on and on, one subject to the next. It was hard to follow. It was almost like someone who’s been trained in the art of doing a lot of talking and saying nothing.”
If phone manufacturers develop software that will allow the device to be disabled remotely, the theft rate will decline not only at Oakland High but all over the states. Students were very receptive to this idea.
Senior Lequis Tucker said, “I feel that this would be a good idea, because it would make it useless to steal someone’s electronics.”
In the meantime, OHS’s school administrators continue to discourage students from bringing their personal electronic devices to school.