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Stealing furniture-Would you tell?
Old 08-03-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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This year the school FINALLY got kindergarten some new furniture (tables, kitchens, book shelves, etc.) We've been asking a long time for these things. Each class got a really cute table with padded red chairs. Well two of my team members have small children at home and took the table and chairs home for their kids. I was ticked when I saw them doing this and told them so. They say it's not stealing because of the thousands they've spent on their classrooms over the years. Those things are for the children. I want to tell my admin, but the only other person who knows besides me is their really good friend. She said the only reason she didn't take hers home was because her kids are older so they would know that I was the one who told. Should I tell or just wait until admin notices that their missing (which they might not)?


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Old 08-03-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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OMG! That is awful! Real proper classroom furniture is so expensive. It's their choice to spend thousands of dollars on their classrooms, and they are not entitled to the furniture. I wonder if you can go to your principal and tell him/her but also tell your P that you don't want them to know it was you. Maybe your P can approach it that he/she noticed the furniture was gone and was wondering what happened to it. Maybe that would be enough for them to bring it back?

Otherwise I would just be straightforward with them and tell them that they should return the furniture and it wasn't theirs to take. Either way, it's hard to get involved, but it's stealing!
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round about way
Old 08-03-2012, 07:06 PM
 
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I can not believe that.
Does your admin go in classrooms a lot? I would pointly mention to him how much the children are enjoying the new table and chairs and then maybe that might tune him into the absence of the table and chairs in other rooms.
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Just wrong
Old 08-03-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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holy cow! That takes some nerve to steal from the school like that! I don't care if they spent thousands on their rooms in the past. That was a choice that they made. Tax dollars paid for the new furniture. I'm sure they would be in some major trouble for doing this. I think I would somehow bring this up to someone in admin maybe by asking if it was ok to take things home. How wrong of them!
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I am...
Old 08-03-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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sorry but I think you need to be upfront and honest with your principal and let them know what they did.

The way I see it, they stole, that is wrong. You knowing and not saying anything is just as wrong.


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Old 08-03-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't tell.

I'd feel more upset if learning material was being appropriated, but I can't muster up much energy over a cute table and chairs. No child is being deprived of learning.

I'd think they were being jerks, but I'd stay out of it with admin.
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It's easy for someone to say yeah tell
Old 08-03-2012, 08:03 PM
 
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Easier said than done, but it is the right thing to do. Teeny also makes a good point. Telling might cause more trouble than it's worth, afterall you have to work with these people. Like a PP said I would mention the tables and how much the kids love them and maybe they would notice their absence from the other classrooms. Shame on them!
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Tell
Old 08-03-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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I would have told them right away that it is stealing. If they took the chairs, I guarantee these teachers cheat in other ways... scores and other stuff.

Tell.
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That is awful!
Old 08-04-2012, 01:20 AM
 
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I am shocked that they would steal furniture and justify it in such a twisted way.

It is likely that if you tell, the P will not do anything to address it and it will only cause bad feelings towards you.
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Grand theft....
Old 08-04-2012, 02:00 AM
 
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Oh my goodness. This is not a small thing. Those teachers could be facing prison charges and/or the loss of their jobs. With cute tables and chairs in two classrooms, but not the other two classrooms, someone's going to notice. Most likely, a parent who has a child in a table-less classroom is going to want to know why some classes got tables and others did not. It will come out eventually, and your co-workers could be charged with grand theft, or, if they're lucky, just lose their jobs.
You could be in trouble just by keeping quiet.

What I would do is this:

I would go to the teachers and with great concern for their future welfare, urge them to bring back the tables and chairs before it is too late for them. That may work in and of itself. If they are still inclined to take their chances, I would also tell them that you must protect your own job, and that you cannot in good conscience keep quiet about this. Insist that the furniture must be brought back immediately, or you will tell the principal. If they don't bring it back, you can tell the principal in good conscience, knowing that you did everything you could do.


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Old 08-04-2012, 02:03 AM
 
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I am beyond words. All that goes through my mind is the bad publicity we get from John Q. Public and then teachers go and actually blatantly steal from the school. This is unbelievable.
I am like pp if they will do this dishonest thing then they will do anything. I feel like when they told you about the crime they have made you party to it. You are in a tight spot. If you have a good relationship with your p I think you could talk to them and explain the situation and they could very well diplomatically inquire as to what happened to the table and chairs during a walk through. They do not have to involve you at all. That is actually how it should be handled on the principal's part. (I fear that somehow they are found out by some other source and then it becomes known you knew about it and did not report it.)
Good luck and let us know how this turns out. Who knows perhaps they are on ProT and have seen this message and know what everyone thinks. You might go in and see tables and chairs magically reappear.
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How dare they!?!
Old 08-04-2012, 02:49 AM
 
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Thieves....that's all they are. I feel it does need to be addressed. Bold as I am, especially with the fact that I could care less what my coworkers think of me, I'd tell. Stand up for the students that are being deprived.....heck if they spent "thousands" on their rooms what's another hundred or so for their OWN kids happiness as opposed to fines & jail time with potential career ruination? Speak up!!!!
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:14 AM
 
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I probably wouldn't tell. I would wait until adminstration notices they are missing and let adminstration handle it.

Sounds to me like your co-workers have become overly emotionally connected to the school they work or overly emotionally invested and forgot it is a workplace.

I think sometimes teachers begin to see the school and their classroom as an extension of themselves and that is why these women feel justified in taking the furniture home. (especially if other areas of their life are lacking-either personally or professionally) I'm outing myself on this one BIG TIME!

I worked at a school from 1997 to 2002 like this. Many people forgot it was a workplace and were overly emotionally connected or invested in the school which led them to do things that appeared right in their own eyes or way of thinking. (myself included) Sounds like your co-workers.

In the community, church, grocery store, shopping mall, ball fields, etc. through the years I was recognized as Mrs. ________________ from ____________________ School whose life (from my perspective ) was dedicated to helping the lives of little children and overall making the world a better place. It was was very ego driven. Thinking I had (keyword-thinking ) the adoration of little children (sometimes 100s or through the years 1000s) and being a support system for their parents. I did a lot of things to want to maintain that image of wanting to be "Super Teacher" in the eyes of others especially in the community.

Through the years especially at district meetings, I would find myself saying don't you know who I am? I am Mrs. __________________ from ____________________ School who has been teaching ___________________ years.

Sounds like your co-workers may have that "superteacher" mentality, (most of the times it happens gradually through the years without even realizing it) thinking they can do things that really are not morally right but can justify it by stating all the sacrifices they have made through the years like the thousands of $$$ they spent in their classroom. It is a slippery slope to be on. I would distance myself from them if possible.

*I guess I can type about the "superteacher" mentality because at one time I used the position as classroom teacher as a value of my self worth and fell into this. Not taking furniture, but wanting to have a "savior" complex or martyr to justify my behavior.

I am trying to take a chill pill in 2012-2013.

Take care!

Last edited by OK4NOW; 08-04-2012 at 08:13 AM..
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I'd tell
Old 08-04-2012, 04:06 AM
 
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I'm sorry, that is totally wrong. If they'd taken it home over the summer to let their kids use it and return it when school begins, I might could let it go... but to just take it and justify it as I've spent money on the classroom... no.

If you principal is any good at what he/she does, it could be addressed easily without anyone knowing you reported it. He/She should be able to go into the classroom just doing a walk through type thing, and ask where they are without it ever coming out that anyone told him. If he knows they were ordered, that shouldn't be an issue - a matter of Teacher A has a great set up for her family center with the new tables and chairs the district bought... where are yours, by the way? That sort of thing.

I might even report in the same sort of way.. "I don't want to accuse anyone of stealing... I just noticed they were taking them home at the end of the year. They may be planning to just borrow them over the summer, but I just thought you should know..."
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Grand Larceny
Old 08-04-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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Knowing the cost of classroom furniture is huge, I would estimate that the cost of this set would be in excess of $300. I would absolutely report this theft to the principal. If a volunteer came in and walked out with a laptop, everyone would consider it to be a theft. It would not be rationalized in terms of "oh well, they have paid thousands of dollars in school taxes, so they are entitled to school equipment. Stealing is stealing. How can we expect our students to learn integrity and respect if they are being taught by people who clearly have none? Those teachers should lose their jobs.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:21 AM
 
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I am with the majority on this one. It is definitely stealing, and they should be ashamed of themselves. I understand your uncertainty, though. How is your relationship with your P? If it's a good one and you trust him/her, it should be rather painless. If the relationship is not so great, it may make more sense to try to tell subtly as others have suggested. Either way, we tell our students that watching someone steal or bully and not notifying the proper person is just as bad as committing the crime yourself, right? I believe that and am horrified at teachers stealing from their schools, especially with the current media bashing of teachers and school spending.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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I would tell.

I've done so in the past, as a matter of fact. I had a co-worker who was leaving our school. When she came to our school, I let her use a metal shelf that was in my room. I didn't need the shelf. The school had purchased two of them for me years ago, and I only had room for one that year. When she left, she was planning to take the shelf with her.

I didn't want it, but it wasn't hers to take. I told the assistant principal who took it from there. He was able to do it in such a way that it didn't let her know that I'd said anything.
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Think it through
Old 08-04-2012, 08:36 AM
 
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Easy enough to say, "tell"...it's wrong, and it's stealing, but it didn't affect you or your students. Admin knows how many tables and chairs they ordered for each room. Your school custodians certainly know how many they set up per classroom! I hate stuff like this happening.

Personally, my big concern would be that one of those two might help themselves to MY desks and chairs so that they had the proper number. Makes it look like I, ahem, "lost" some furniture. I wouldn't put it past anyone who would steal like that to help themselves to your things.

What would I do? I'd get some neon sticky labels and put them on the bottom of each and every piece of new furniture in my classroom. Make sure they're on there good. Even better, write "Rm.___" in sharpie on the stuff that belongs in your room. Tell the P you're doing it so that furniture doesn't get "moved around accidentally" when the custodians are waxing floors (any reason will do). Don't tell anyone else you're doing this. If you should suddenly "lose" furniture from your room, it wouldn't be hard to "track" it. So sorry that you even have to consider this! I'd would speak up-to the thieves-directly. Mention that someone will surely notice that furniture is missing (after you've marked yours, of course!) and that they'd better bring it back before someone notices! I'd let it go at that.

If you feel in your heart of hearts that you need to tell, prepare for the consequences.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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That is a tough spot to be in...yikes! I think I would be inclined to just let it go and let the principal find out about it on his/her own...but after reading some responses, now I think I would be worried that I might somehow be tarred by the same brush if it comes to light bc I knew about it.

I hope you have a decent relationship with the P and are able to let him/her know what is going on with the understanding that he/she will handle it discretely and not involve you.

I like the idea of speaking to them again and saying that you believe they should bring the furniture back, pointing out that school property is school property (maybe use the laptop example) Make it seem like you are worried for them if anyone finds out bc it would look so bad and perhaps effect their employment. Then if they do not budge, go to the P.

I think OK4NOW has an interesting point...I bet they don't feel it is stealing bc of their over-involvement in school. A blurring of the lines so to speak. Not that this makes it right for sure...just might explain their mind set.
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some of these replies
Old 08-04-2012, 09:46 AM
 
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frankly shock me......


As teachers and good, honest people (hopefully), don't we have the responsibility to do the right thing? I'm seriously shocked at the notion that the OP needs to stay out of something that "doesn't hurt children"....how does allowing their teachers to steal HELP children?

Of course I'd tell. I did once many years ago at the beginning of my school career (not a teacher yet) when a staff member was quitting and decided to take a district laptop with her. I went through the proper channels-first alerting our building tech person (these were the 'old days' when we had building tech people-also teachers-kept inventory for a stipend...sometimes pieces of equip. fell through the cracks). He then went to the prince, who called me in. The prince appreciated my telling, as stealing reflects on the entire building!

I'm curious as to whether those that wouldn't tell would tell a store employee if a customer was sneaking out the door with goods? I'm thinking no, since you believe it's not "hurting children".... How is this any different? This is stealing, plain and simple, not borrowing...as they did not have permission to borrow for the summer.
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I wouldn't tell...
Old 08-04-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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My job is to report abuse against students or another adult. I would leave the stealing issue to the principal who should notice that brand new tables and chairs are missing in some rooms.

I would however, tell them how I felt. It sounds like you already did that. Also, I would keep my distance from anyone who felt that type of behavior was okay.

New furniture is expensive! I sometimes see sales at lakeshore and I'm thinking ...If that's the sale, I don't want to see the regular price!!!


That sucks..sorry you have to deal with that

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You need to protect yourself.
Old 08-04-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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I like westwitch's idea of identifying the furniture in your room. This is a standard practice on my campus; all of us have our room numbers in Sharpie on all the desks/chairs/books/whatever the district has supplied. Also, you need to think about how it will reflect on you when these gals are busted and then the admins find out you knew and didn't speak up. Several years ago, my district had some problems with a district-level administrator using district property at home for personal use. The folks who worked with this person who knew what was happening lost their jobs, the administrator went to prison. Look after yourself.
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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I would probably tell b/c it's just plain wrong and as a taxpayer, it makes me mad. However, I would DEFINITELY do as Westwitch said before I did anything else. My room number would be written in Sharpie on the bottom of every piece in my room. I wouldn't trust the theives not to "replace" the missing furniture with someone else's.

However, I can't imagine the principal not noticing it missing unless someone else, PTA/Title I paid for the furniture. I would be tempting to talk about how cute my set up was with the new stuff in front of the P, hoping they would notice.
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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I wouldn't tell. Even though it is stealing and it is wrong telling will give you a reputation as someone goes to admin. In the schools where I've worked teachers who have told admin on another teacher have found themselves isolated from the rest of the staff.

Let the principal see for themselves that the furniture is missing from those two rooms.
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Also shocked.
Old 08-04-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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I am not a goody-two-shoes nor am I on a high horse, but I can't imagine encouraging you to look the other way while people steal.

Would you feel differently if it was a para, janitor, or parent helping themselves to school property? If the teachers like those tables, they should buy their own. If they don't want to spend $$$$ on their classroom they shouldn't do it! That is NO excuse to steal.
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I would tell
Old 08-04-2012, 01:23 PM
 
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if only to protect my job. If it comes out that you knew about the theft and did not tell, you could get fired.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:13 PM
 
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I would definitely tell the principal. It is absurd that teachers would steal a table and chair set that belongs to a school and was meant for students. They should be ashamed!!
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Terrible
Old 08-04-2012, 03:05 PM
 
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That is awful that they feel entitled to take home expensive furniture. It is stealing. The furniture was purchased for the students not personal use.

I would talk to them about setting a good example and see if you can get them to return the furniture. Like other posts, I would label all my furniture.

As for the telling, that's tough. You have to go with your gut.
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Obligation
Old 08-04-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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It is your obligation to let the administration know. Tax dollars were used for this purchase and these "professionals" are ripping the taxpayers off. When budgets get slashed (again and again), who can defend the need for more money when it's being used for personal use? It's abhorrent and it's illegal.

It doesn't matter that it's hard to do; it's the right thing to do. I would be forthright, though, and tell my team members that I will not ignore their larceny and give them a chance to return the furniture first before going to admin.
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Just a thought
Old 08-04-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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You definitely need to let the P know the furniture is missing. It was wrong for them to take and you need to say something. you could lose your job and license if they get caught and implicate you. First I would label everything that belongs to you and your room. Then I would let the teachers know that you won't be an silent partner to the missing furniture. I would also mention that if they really think this is alright they shouldn't have any problem using the justification directly with administration to get permission to keep the furniture at home. Tell them they have until the first day of school to have it back in their rooms or you will go to the administration. I would steer clear of these two as much as possible. If they don't return the furniture, I would go to the Principal and say, "I love my new furniture, however I noticed that teacher 1 and teacher 2 took theirs out of their rooms, I just thought you should know." You don't have to repeat everything they said to you, and then the ball is in the administrations court as far as handling the loss. This is a hard position to be in, but I think you are in jeopardy if you don't stand up to them.
If a student took something from your desk or another student and someone saw them you would expect the student to let you know. Even if they were going to be ostracized by telling. We must be as courageous as we expect our students to be.
I am sorry this happened
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:24 PM
 
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You said it all better than I did! I agree with you 100% and would do exactly as you've stated in your post....


You also brought up a GREAT point:

Quote:
If a student took something from your desk or another student and someone saw them you would expect the student to let you know. Even if they were going to be ostracized by telling. We must be as courageous as we expect our students to be.
Wow, how true! I've read countless posts/vents on this very board from frustrated teachers who have had things stolen out of their rooms by students. The posters are always outraged and always expect other students that might have been witnesses to come clean with what they know. GREAT point!!!
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:46 PM
 
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I'd be willing to bet these aren't the first items they've stolen. As a PP said, wonder if they cheat on tests, too?
Do whatever it takes to protect yourself in all this. When it's found out, admin may think ALL the teachers at that grade level are thieves. Your silence makes you look guilty, too.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:51 PM
 
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Whether or not I'd tell would completely depend on my relationship with my P and whether I felt I could trust him/her NOT to say that you brought it to his/her attention. I would ask him/her to also "happen" to pop into each of the K rooms to see how the new table and chairs look ......and then notice that the new tables and chairs are missing from their rooms.

I gotta say, this is pretty bold of them to do. I mean, do they not think that the P is going to ever notice (or parents, or anyone else) and ask about it??? Not that it would make it any more ethical, but you'd think they would take home the OLD ones, so that it's a little less obvious or something.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:21 PM
 
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Was it wrong of them? Yes. Was it stealing? Yes and No. Yes if they take it and never bring it back--otherwise maybe it'd be borrowing? I just that term loosely. I personally would stay out of it. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder for being honest and making use of what the school has given on you. Shame on your team but I wouldn't say anything--it's not your place and you can't change their minds. Hopefully the P will notice on his/her own or a parent will notice like someone else suggested. I personally would stay out of it...
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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I would go with your inner voice. You most likely will have to go to the P because it is bothering you as it should. However, if you have a good relationship with your P, I would ask that he/she just do a walk through and pretend to notice that the chairs are gone and not to mention your name. However, be aware that the other teachers may find out that you exposed them, but if you do the right thing, you will feel good inside.
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Thanks, newspedteach's...
Old 08-04-2012, 10:05 PM
 
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I love what you brought up as well, it is what prompted me to post. I don't understand why some of the posts say not to tell. These teachers have already shown a concerning lack of integrity, and I would be so sad if they caused another to lose their job or credibility. They will not hesitate in dragging anyone else with them if they get the chance. It brings this quote to mind, "Some things are wrong even if everyone is doing them, and some things are right even if no one is doing them." That may be slightly different than what I read, but the same idea. So many of us spend so much time teaching character education to students. We must practice what we preach. I would sincerely be looking for a new team to work with, what an awful way to start the year.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:24 PM
 
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I am going into a library position this year. The previous librarian has made several comments about teachers taking things from the library, carts, books, posters, etc., and how wrong it is. She stated those things were bought with library funds and it is against the law to remove them without permission.
That said.
She removed the small microwave and fridge from the library work room when she left. She had previously told me they were purchased with library money. However, her grandson will be going to college and she is giving them to him for his dorm room.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:35 PM
 
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You are a witness to a crime. Telling your principal is not tattling--it is reporting. I am apalled that two teachers would do this. As a tax payer, you would be well within your rights to report them to the police. Depending on the monetary value of the stolen items, it could be misdemeaner theft or grand theft.

I am sorry they put you in this situation. But criminals rarely think of others while they're committing crimes. They always seem to be able justify their actions though.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:28 AM
 
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Here's is what I hope I would say in your situation. I say "hope" because it would be hard. (And by the way I would be very resentful that they put me in this position.)

"You have stolen the furniture. I am reporting you."

When teachers will not monitor and police their own profession, someone else will do it for us. Oh wait, already have that!

If nothing happens to them, they will continue to steal, and make the whole profession look bad. When it comes out n the paper, it will an embarrassment to the whole school.

I would want these teachers to be fired just as surely as I would want a superintendent or higher up admin to be fired for embezzling funds or falsifying test results. It's the same thing. Imagine if these two thieves continued in their profession and became supervisors? What else would they justify doing because of their "sacrifices". I would want them and everyone else to know in no uncertain terms that another teacher ratted them out. Teachers need to know that other teachers won't put up with this crap!
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:23 AM
 
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I know it may sound crazy but I truly believe these women believe the classroom is "theirs" and they can use the furniture however they want. Even taking it home to their own children. That is why they feel justified in doing this.

What they did was wrong and the furniture should be returned but this is how I think they can jusitify what they did.

Even though some of these things are not tangible like furniture that you can take home, some teachers consider students "theirs", also "their" duty, "their" seat at a staff meeting, "their" seat at the teacher's lounge, "their" program-when you try and change things, "their" schedule, "their" lunch time, "their" special time, "their" committee, "their" grade level -especially when you have to switch grade levels "their" parking space" "their classroom" -especially when you have to switch rooms"their" assistant....etc..

I think these women consider the furniture "theirs". I do wonder how many years they have taught at that school, taught kindergarten, taught in the same room, taught in the same team, etc...I believe they are way overly emotionally invested in their jobs.

You tried to tell them the furniture wasn't "theirs" to take home, but it always saddens me that someone else has to take the fall for others poor decisions. But it happens all the time.

Maybe you could mention to your adminstrator in a round about way,
how he/she would like the new furniture used?

Also another factor:: Are they married to or are their families considered powerful people in the community? Some places this is a factor in what some people are allowed to do and others are not. As wrong as it may seem. There is a lot of politics within a school building and district especially in some towns, cities and states than in others. If you say something and then it comes back and it is said. Well they are married to so and so or their maiden name is so and so and their family is so and so..or their best friend is so and so..etc.. it happens.(Especially if you are not from the area and they are) We do live in a fallen world.

That's why I stated about keeping a healthy balance and emotional distance in your job. In my 15 years since graduating college I have seen many a line get blurred. Right or wrong as it may seem.

Last edited by OK4NOW; 08-05-2012 at 03:57 AM..
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:06 AM
 
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IMO, has some exellent advice

I especially like her idea about putting a label (write your name or room # with a Sharpie) on the under side of all your furniture.

I have know teachers to steal other teacher's items, claiming them as their own, when needing to turn in items/prove they have them.

If these teachers are dishonest enough to steal, they would have not guilt in taking your items to claim as their own.

Also, I would go straight to principal/district admin., if they give you problems for doing the right thing. As a matter of fact, your principal should be turning them for stealing. What they are doing "is not a game"... it is what is is... stealing.

Stand strong
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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When I first read this, I thought you meant the teachers took home the old table and chairs that they had in their classroom before the district's purchased new ones. And I was thinking, well maybe those old tables and chairs could have personally been purchased by these teachers . . .

I read this again and I'm thinking, did you mean they took home the brand new table with the padded red chairs that the school FINALLY got the kindergarten classrooms????

Stupid . . . stupid. . . . Stupid. Dumb and Dumber!

Their rationale - they voluntarily spent "thousands" in their classroom so they deserve the table and chairs.

A rationale check: Are they donating all the items that they spent "thousands" on to the school district?

Heck no! Therefore not everything balances even in the wash!

I would have report it somehow. Not sure how . . . got to think out all the outcomes. . . .

In my situation, I would have probably asked the principal privately this simple dumb question: "Hey! Since Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Jones get to take those brand new table and chairs that the district just purchased for their classroom -home to keep, can I do that also even though I don't want the table and chairs at my home? I could sell them back to the school and possibility make a lot of money, though??!" (I'd provide a very weak smile and raise an eyebrow) Knowing my principal, he would have looked at me smiling - and he'd firmly say "No and get the heck out of here" to me - and I'd end it with, "I would have expected that brilliant and wise answer . . . . . . just not from you. (Smiling) Sorry to have bothered you." But I would have gotten the message to him. Balls in his court!
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Was it stealing? Yes and No. Yes if they take it and never bring it back--otherwise maybe it'd be borrowing?

"Borrowing" without permission is called stealing. At best, it's morally and ethically wrong. My neighbors don't have permission to just step onto my property and "borrow" my husband's grill without permission. You don't take/"borrow" something that belongs to someone else without asking. Period.

How would you feel if a student in your class just took home one of your pocket charts or your classroom calendar that you bought for the classroom (without asking you first) because he felt he could use it with his parents? You might not say he was "stealing" (although with no clear time-frame as to when he plans to bring it back, it's venturing into stealing territory), but I would.

We can't have one set of standards for kids and another set for adults.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Was it stealing? Yes and No. Yes if they take it and never bring it back--otherwise maybe it'd be borrowing?
Why would we question whether it was stealing? They took it home without asking for permission with the intention of using it for their children. The OP didn't suggest that they were "borrowing" it with the intention of returning it to school.

When you take something that doesn't belong to you, without permission, it's considered stealing. Are there some gray areas? Sure.

I agree with what others said about their students. If a student stole something from me (or someone else) and others knew and didn't say anything, I would be extremely disappointed.

Showing integrity can be difficult, but these teachers were wrong for taking these things.

I am shocked at the number of teachers who said not to say anything, stay out of it, etc...
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It is stealing...
Old 08-05-2012, 11:58 AM
 
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if these ladies are friends I would try to talk them into bringing the furniture back. Otherwise they could be in a lot of trouble if this gets found out. My principal( this was several years ago) was a great guy, had won all kinds of awards, had opened a highly innovative school that everyone wanted to come to, was on a meteoric (sp.), career path and then.... he took and used a school laptop and other supplies for his personal consulting business.... They came to the school and arrested him. They took him out in handcuffs right in front of us....

They could be arrested and ruin their lives over this.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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I would begin manipulation-ask the custodian if they had to assemble the new furniture in your room and thank them then ask why the other rooms didn't get any. Let him ask them where it is and eventually it will get back to the office. manipulative but it does work
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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On a smaller scale, I think it's also stealing to take the extra Kleenex boxes that the parents donate to the school classroom home and use them for personal use at home throughout the year.

I have known teachers to go through the Kleenex boxes at the beginning of the school year and take the PUFFS - the good quality Kleenex to use at their homes. I've always thought this is stealing as well.

Good grief! Don't we make enough money to purchase our own kleenex to use in our own homes? I have also known teachers to take a package of typing paper home as well to use for personal use. These items may have a lesser $ price tag attached to them then school furniture, but after a while, it does add up. And it's stealing . . . . maybe not as noticable as a brand new table and chairs would be!!!!

For the extra Kleenex boxes that I have at the end of the year, I have always hauled them to the school nurse who usually hugs me and restocks her year supply for the next school year. If I don't get up to her office during our last workday -clean out time at the end of the school year, she usually comes to my classroom with a big smile and she ask me if I have extra Kleenex boxes left over from this year that she could use for next year. She brings her little red wagon to haul up the extra boxes.
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stealing
Old 08-05-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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You've got to be kidding! Justifying taking home school property because they invested thousands of dollars in school stuff is so lame. It is still STEALING! It is NOT borrowing either. When you borrow, you ask permission from the owner. The school district owns the furniture. I can guarantee you that if they ask permission, it will not be granted. Why? Because it belongs IN the classroom. AAGGHH! I get so upset when I read stuff like this because it gives all teachers a bad name.

Years ago one teacher in a district I worked briefly was fired because they found all kinds of school property in his house. He had taken stuff home little by little, so it was not noticed. He had musical instruments, furniture, books, and a lot more. When asked why he did it, he said that everyone else did, too. Whaaaaaaaaaatttt???

ETA: I would straight-out tell them that what they did is stealing, and that you are compelled to report this because you do not want to be implicated in case they are arrested and the judge and lawyers question why the other teachers did not say anything. I don't care if they would be mad at me. So sue me.
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I'd report it!
Old 08-05-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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If any teacher at my school took furniture home, they'd be fired and probably charged with theft. My students even get in school suspension for stealing a $1.00 pencil sharpener. I would tell the principal immediately.
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Get Involved!!!
Old 08-05-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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Yes, you must report this theft.

However, you do not have to do it in person. Write a note on your computer...put it on the principal's mailbox...then it is in the principal's court and you do not have to worry about being the person who reported it because the note cannot be traced back to you.

You will be doing the right thing...you can go to sleep at night knowing that...there will be no proof you did the right thing, but in your heart you will know you did!!!
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:41 PM
 
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I like the note idea. "A brand-new set of tables and chairs were purchased for each of the kindergarten classrooms and two sets are missing." Our custodian would be all over this.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:45 PM
 
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I'm surprised too that anyone would suggest ignoring this, and that people expect the principal to just notice on his or her own. Wow.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:05 PM
 
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I agree that we expect children to step up in a tough situation like this, therefore WE have to also.
They didn't borrow the table and chairs, they stole them, period.
I'm wondering how no one saw them taking them home??
Maybe put an anonymous note in P's box? (this is something we may ask the children to do if they know s/t but dont want to seem like tattlers.)
Wow..that's so wrong!
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Disgraceful!!!!
Old 08-05-2012, 05:21 PM
 
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I just can't believe this. I read and reread post as other PP have said. This can't be true. Then think back and you say .... maybe they will bring them back before school starts. Stealing is stealing.... the librarian story was another shock, complain and then turn around and give school supplies to kid going to college. OMG!!!

For me, I would not want to be involved however, this is one time it would be better to be called "Goodie Two Shoes"

I always teach my own children and school children that
"Guilty By Association" There are no innocent bystanders, Sorry; but I would TELL point blank to principal and pray my name could stay out of it.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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I would have to tell either in person or in a note. I might try to get the teachers to see that it's wrong and give them a chance to bring it back and then tell if it didn't happen.
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Tell
Old 08-05-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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I would tell especially since I think my P would approach it like she just happened to notice the items were missing. Maybe yours would too but either way I would tell.
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Would I tell?
Old 08-05-2012, 07:11 PM
 
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Honestly...............no. I would do my job, enjoy my table and chairs and never mention the situation to anyone.

YOU didn't steal anything, nor did you conspire w/other teachers to steal. You are NOT guilty by association. You are responsible for your behavior, not anyone else's.

Things like this come back to bite people in the *&^ and I would not want to be involved in any way when the sh## hits the fan.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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What I wonder about is that...if they find out with out you telling them ..and then they question you if you knew about it...I think that it would be best to talk to your p about it...because you don't want to get reprimanded for NOT telling...but however stress to the p that you work with them and you talked to them and they will know if you told because you did express concern? Say that you are worried that it will cause a very uncomfortable working environment if they found out that you told on them...I don't know...that is awful..I am sorry...
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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I would expect my students to tell me if they saw someone taking something that didn't belong to them, so I would hope that I would show similar integrity. If these teachers can justify stealing the table and chairs, who knows what else they justify taking? If someone stole something from you, wouldn't you want others to let you know? I know I would. Do the people who wouldn't tell the admin report it if they saw a teacher steal book club money? Or personal items from another teacher?
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Theft
Old 08-05-2012, 08:57 PM
 
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It's theft. Taking without asking with the intention of keeping is theft.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:39 PM
 
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Definitely a theft. This is not used furniture being trashed. Even if these sets were purchased at a discount superstore it still belongs to the school. If you are in a public school then tax dollars paid for these sets as a pp stated. If you are in a private school then tuition funds paid for them.

The admin needs to know sooner rather than later. I also like the note idea binkbonk suggested. The P might go into the rooms and not even notice that the items were missing unless she picked them out and put them in the rooms herself.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:41 AM
 
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I think that your job may be in jeopardy if you don't tell. Admin. will find out one way or another. It may take them awhile but I think they will notice if 2 of the classrooms don't have the tables that they JUST purchased for them. If they find out that you knew, you could be in "hot" water.

Here's what I'd do... I would go to these two teachers and tell them that the Principal made some kind of comment about the tables/chairs to you ~ maybe that the P asked you about how you liked them or how the students liked them or something like that. I'd go to these 2 teachers and tell them that and tell them they should bring them back because P may be coming to them next. Then, see what they say and do. If they still don't bring them back, you should do to P and tell him/her how much you enjoy the tables and chairs and that you don't see them in the other rooms. Then, it's out of your hands and you also tried to give the 2 teachers fair warning (since you do have to work with them).

Good luck and I'm sorry that you are in this position. What a rotten place to be for you.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:14 AM
 
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I would send the principal a note or email and thank them for the new furniture.
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Inventory Check List!
Old 08-06-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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Without a doubt your school should have an "Inventory Check List" for every classroom.. with everything that was purchased with school district funds or grant funds. We have to account for every chair, every table, every pencil sharpener in our room. I moved into a new school with all new equipment, so our administrators wanted us to be accountable for everything. I can't imagine taking something home and keeping it!! My husband used to be in charge of technology at a school. Every year several laptops and quite a few digital cameras were "just missing." That's why we have the detailed inventory sheet to fill out every year. AND it's a pain when there's so much to do at the end of the year...... but it prevents stealing! Isn't that sad?
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:55 AM
 
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Did they by any chance take the tables home just for the summer? (Which I still think is wrong.)
I'd wait until school is about to start, and if the tables don't show up, I'd tell.
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Wow...
Old 08-06-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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I obviously used the term "borrowing" loosely because I couldn't find another word. You make a good point. However, what if the teachers use the stuff and bring it back before the end of the year?? Why not wait and see what happens? I don't know...I would just mind my own business and hope the principal is wise/observant enough to notice DURING the school year--and then at the end if the teachers don't bring back the stuff then it'd be a good time to point it out. I feel bad the kids would go without the materials purchased at the school just like anyone else...but I'm pretty divided. I don't tolerate theft so please don't take my post that way. I just wouldn't want the wrath of angry team members either, but hey at least it's not me in this position.
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What about a teacher from another grade?
Old 08-08-2012, 08:37 PM
 
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Could you get another teacher to walk in one of their rooms, look around as if admiring classroom, and then say, "I noticed so and so's class got new furnture. When is your's coming?" If they don't have a good answer, that teacher could say, "We should be sure and remind the principal to check to see that your furniture hasn't gotten lost/still in warehouse/delivered to wrong school/etc." That would have to make them worried about others noticing missing items. And you wouldn't be blamed. Just something to think about...
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Don't be a tattle tale
Old 08-09-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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Maybe they intend to bring them back after the summer.
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tell
Old 08-10-2012, 03:55 PM
 
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I think you have to tell. You are aware of a theft of school property and not notifying the administration makes you just as guilty. This could cost you your job and possibly your license (depending on your state's standards of ethical behavior).
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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I think you need to tell too.

I don't buy into the possibility of them borrowing them for the summer. If they had been borrowing for the summer, they wouldn't have told you about spending thousands and therefore they are entitled to them... Instead they would've said, "Oh, it's just for the summer" (by the way, I disagree with them borrowing them for the summer unless they got permission beforehand -- it's wrong for them to impose wear and tear on the tables and chairs by transporting them home and then using them).

I agree that you bear the responsibility of disclosing this. A good admin (and you know who you are dealing with) will keep you anonymous...
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PrivateEyes said . . .
Old 08-10-2012, 04:18 PM
 
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. . . just what I was going to say: Go to the first, but if they don't return it, go to the principal.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:24 PM
 
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Did they take the table and chairs home just for the summer for their kids? That's what I am not clear on.
Not that I condone taking stuff home but it would make a difference in my answer to know if they plan to bring it back after the summer.

I wouldnt say anything if they bring the tables back in the fall. However, if they don't bring it back I would definitely say something. Like others have said depending on my relationship with other teachers I might warn them first before going to P
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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Something similiar happened where my husband works. It is called theft and believe it or not a whole department was fired for it! I can not believe people think it is ok to take it home.
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Yes, I'd tell
Old 08-10-2012, 11:22 PM
 
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It's just the right thing to do. In my state (and I'm sure most others) we have a teachers' code of ethics, and part of that is appropriate use of funds and resources. I would think that this falls under that. The furniture is a resource that your school purchased, and those teachers taking it home for their own children is definitely not an appropriate use! In my district, we have a form we can use to report misuse of resources to the district. We can remain anonymous. However, I think I'd just tell my P and let her know that I'm worried about their reaction when they find out I told...team climate, etc. She would find a way to make it look like she noticed on her own that it was missing. And they'd be in big trouble, too.

Personally, I'm surprised by all of the posters saying they'd stay out of it. IMO, that would make you just as guilty as the teachers who stole the furniture.

Whatever you decide, I good luck!
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:25 AM
 
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wow; I'm shocked with their attitude & nerve. Yes, it's definitely stealing.

I hope the OP lets us know what she did.
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theft
Old 08-14-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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It is sad to hear this about your co-workers. As a retired teacher I saw some of this, but not to this extent. One teacher took a little rocking horse (wooden) home with her several years ago when she had a young daughter. I had a young son at home who would have loved it, but my conscience would not let me take it. I was shocked, but did not say anything. If I had it to do over I would discretely tell.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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Theft.
No excuse.
I would tell in a heartbeat.
It makes PROFESSIONAL teachers look bad.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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I would type up a note about what happened on my home computer , print it out and not include my name. I would get to school very early one morning or stay very late one afternoon, and slip it into the P mailbox or under the door of the P office.

I am the kind of teacher that never complains or tattles about anything, but last year I reported a bus driver for running a stop sign. He was fired, not based just on what I said, but a lot of very similar things he had been doing and that was kinda "the last straw". Did I feel bad? Kinda, but he was endangering the lives of children and other citizens.
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Wow
Old 09-02-2012, 08:48 AM
 
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I would agree with previous people who posted to mark your furniture. I wouldn't put it past them to take a few chairs....just get the small neon stickers and put your initials or room number on them in sharpie. I also agree that at the very least the custodian would have noticed the difference because they've delivered the furniture to each room.

However, stealing is stealing and at the very least I would have maybe gone to a union rep for their advice on it. When the principal finds out they will be called in anyway and have to keep the situation confidential, so you could go to them to seek their advice. You could get in trouble for knowing and not reporting it.
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