Hunkering down as PARCCageddon looms

Homewood-Flossmoor High School administrators promised they will review security measures in the new fieldhouse after a student’s locker was broken into twice in one week.

The student’s parents came before the District 233 board of education on Tuesday asking for the administration to tighten security after their son’s locker was broken into while he was practicing with the track team. The first time his shoes and phone were stolen. The second time everything was removed from his locker.

Surveillance cameras and a tracer on the student’s phone led security to the perpetrators.

The couple praised the work of the H-F security team and Flossmoor police, but they said they came before the board because they didn’t want incidents like this to happen again to their son or any student at H-F. 

After school hours, the fieldhouse is open to all students, not just those involved with sports teams.

“There should be a way for you to check IDs,” the mother said.  “Who’s supposed to be there? You need protocols with accountability.”

Cameras cannot be placed in locker rooms, Superintendent Von Mansfield said, but the locker rooms are meant to be locked when teams leave. 

“We are in a situation where we do have to take a look” at the procedures, Mansfield said. H-F had a consultant in shortly after the new fieldhouse opened in fall to look 

at controlling traffic in the building. Mansfield said the administration would review those recommendations.

Board President Richard Lites said valuable shoes, phones and other items can be tempting to some, and premeditated theft “is challenging” to the district, but Lites said other students are “very good at telling us who is not following the rules.”

Lites stressed that the number of problem students, who he called “the enemy from within,” is small considering the student body is nearly 2,800 students. But, Lites said those intent on causing problems know the buildings and can thwart the systems. He said the administration and security personnel are continuously working to catch the perpetrators.

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