Hardware

Help prevent users from stealing mouse balls and keyboard keys

How can tech support prevent students from stealing mouse balls and keyboard keys

I recently wrote a blog on the subject of Desktop Support issues, and one TechRepublic member, Jessie, left a reply that I wasn’t quite expecting. She provides support for an urban school district, and some of the students apparently haven’t been taught that stealing and destroying things isn’t appropriate behavior. (Yes, I know, I’m being kind.)

I’d love to have a discussion pointing fingers at whoever’s (or whatever’s) at fault for such behavior, but that would be a departure from the question at hand. I’d also love to have a discussion about the state of public schools in our major cities, but that would undoubtedly become a political debate more appropriate for the off-topic water cooler discussions. And it would be equally interesting to discuss the limits placed on teachers and school administrators when it comes to disciplining those students, but I’ll resist the temptation.

Nonetheless, I’m guessing that there’s an ingenious idea out there somewhere that could help Jessie deal with the problem of students stealing mouse balls and keyboard keys; when she tries to circumvent such things, they’ve actually cut the mouse cord itself.

On one hand, this might not seem like a real desktop support issue, but rather a matter for school security. On the other hand, however, it’s a very unique desktop support issue since tech support has to deal with it. In another one of my earlier blogs, I think we learned (at least I did) that providing computer support to schools and school districts is among the most difficult and challenging of all environments. This particular issue certainly lends credence to that conclusion.

Even though I'm at a loss for a good solution, I’ll throw an initial idea out for discussion. Install a wireless keyboard and optical mouse on each computer, and have the students literally check them out before each use. But I can see the problems with that solution before I even finish writing it out. They could cut the wireless receiver cord instead of the mouse or keyboard cord; they could steal the batteries; they could still steal the keyboard keys; and any attempt to verify the condition of outgoing and incoming equipment would be an administrative nightmare, not to mention the additional cost of the wireless equipment and the impossibility of enforcing any kind of attempt at holding them responsible. (Okay, that was a bad idea.)

So there you have it. Regardless of your idea, even if it seems like a bad one (like mine), please post it. After all, one idea might lead to another, which might lead to a good one when examined by others.

P.S. Please take a look at Jessie’s profile, and consider making a small (or large) donation to her fundraiser effort for childhood cancer research. And if you can’t make one individually, ask your boss to make a corporate donation – preferably in a meeting with a lot of other people present. Many thanks.

113 comments
n2iph
n2iph

Just issue each student a wireless kb and mouse that they get to keep. its theirs to use for the duration or until it dies, at which point they need to turn in the old one for a replacement. just giving them a way will be cheaper in the long run.

Joe_R
Joe_R

I sure try to keep by blogs within the realm of IT, but maybe this is only a symptom of a bigger problem - but one that obviously has an affect on providing IT support. And perhaps this problem is only a subset of a bigger problem. I'd love to see a reply from a teacher's perspective. Maybe I can provide one. Stay tuned...... In the meantime, any comments would be appreciated.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But to be clever you need to make what gets Damaged/Broken so cheap that's it's not worth worrying about. Secure Mice Balls or Keyboard Keys and then watch the problem move to cut cords and missing mice/keyboards. Secure the Mice/Keyboard leads and then the little monsters will break something else like USB Ports. Most school Computer Labs or class rooms don't have external Drives that enable the students access to the main computer but they will have some method of saving their data so that will be the next point of attack or they will insert Viruses to take down the entire system. When it's all said & done a few broken Mice/Keyboards are cheap compared to what it would cost if the Students launched a concerted attack on the computers. If you make something hard to tamper with that just moves the problem elsewhere so keep it as cheap as possible with common cheap parts that don't need a tech to replace. Col

p.vanroeijen
p.vanroeijen

In order to prevent broken hardware, lost keyboard buttons en mouseballs we ask the students to leave their college-card at the desk of the education-assistant. They can get it back when they leave their workplace unharmed.

jim.scannell
jim.scannell

This is a social engineering problem not a technical one. Schools today prize themselves on not making "Value judgments" about anyone instead of requiring any type of consequence for right or wrong action, because determining right or wrong is a value judgment. This is why I no longer work for a school district. The best solution would be to ask all students to visually check ALL mice and KB to their right/left before leaving the lab as no one leaves their seat in the lab until the tech has seen that all equipment is in proper order. If there is a problem and no one takes reponsibility for it, Lab tech tells everyone he she is leaving the room with the security cameras rolling and that the whole group must decide who is responsible (or better the person confesses) or the whole group is banned from the lab. They are all given a paper and a can in the middle of the room must all wright something and place it in the can. YOU HAVE 5 MINUTES AND THE CAMERAS ARE ROLLING....

.Martin.
.Martin.

You could do what my school has done, buy cheap usb mice and keyboards, box them in suitcases (or boxes... whatever...) keep them somewhere easily accessible (by teachers, not students...). When a class has to use computers the teachers take the keyboards and mice, at the end of class the teacher checks the mice and keyboards as they are returned, picking out those who destroy the keyboards and mice. The punishment is to make them pay to buy new ones (make a profit if you want to be mean), you should quickly loose this problem... Or you could force people to bring their own... (or not use the computers...)

scanpst
scanpst

Though stealing of mouse balls and keyboard keys is a difficult issue to tackle, they can be stopped from cutting the cords. This will involve writing an application that would routinely check the presence of mouse (or other hardware) at a definite interval - lets say each 5 seconds - and rings a bell at the admins PC as soon as one is found to be missing. This will involve some low level programming so don't ask me how to do it.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

One solution that was resorted to in a local library was to include the keyboards and mice in the security category, placing the shoplifting tags inside the units, just like they have done with all the books to prevent theft. A school would be more difficult but a solution similar could be worked out. As for the outright destruction of the equipment, that would have to be along the lines of a sign out sheet. Missing keycaps could be solved by using cheaper keyboards and glueing the caps on. Most schools have a computer lab classroom and the destruction would be an enforcement issue, you break it and you're out of the class.

ynggrsshppr
ynggrsshppr

Maybe a stupid idea but if it is for a class have them buy their own. Put them in lockers when they are done.

jdclyde
jdclyde

setup a web cam, and let it run. The next time something comes up missing, check the cam. After you catch and expel the first punk, the others will fall into line. Of course, you don't TELL them you are recording or they will steal the camera or move it.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

For a very long time. Any Person who has ever repaired anything in a school will tell you of what has happened to them from the Builder who pours concrete to the person in the class room who is repairing something. Jessie has it somewhat easier as I doubt that she has many students [b]Hitting on Her[/b] like I used to have every girl hitting on me and any male with me. We where [b]Fair Game[/b] to the young silly girls with silly ideas of what they wanted. While this may be relatively new to the IT side it's really nothing new to Schools. Col

jc@dshs
jc@dshs

I think you have it just about right. I was a teacher before becoming the computer tech/admin/etc in my school. I used to glue the backs on mouse balls, padlock keyboard mouse and NIC cables to the case, we had students sitting in the same seats every computing lesson and on and on but we stil got damage - just for the sake of damaging the equipment. Eventually I did what you suggest - cheapest optical mice I can buy, cheapest keyboards I can buy all easily replaced. I still have to padlock cables to the case or I lose keyboards or network cables but I just accept a degree of breakage each year and try to budget for it. The best solution I have seen is to keep the equipment reasonably up to date. We used to run machines into the ground simply because of our budget restrictions, with 6 or 7 year old computers not uncommon. We now try to keep reasonably current - 4 years old at worst in computer labs - and this seems to have stopped MOST of the damage. We still get a bit but nowhere near as much. PS This is considered to be a "good" school, with "good" kids from good families but it only takes a few bad apples to ruin it for everyone.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

You're just a bundle of optimism on this subject, aren't you, Col? While I agree that many students are just as you described, in my experience the vast majority of them, while possibly bored, are not malicious. I found, as the teacher, paying attention in the lab eliminated most incidents of missing or damaged parts.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

From Destroying/Damaging other students hardware how? Oh I know you don't have any bullies where you work do you? Col

Jessie
Jessie

Most of these kids parents are on state assistance... they just wouldn't have the MONEY for paying for their own equipment.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Another form of attack Destroy or disable the victims equipment so that they are unable to do any work. God if kids get bullied by Cell Phone just imagine what would happen if they had to provide their own computer equipment. Col edited for clarity.

Joe_R
Joe_R

Even if you don't tell them about it, they'll find out.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

to just turn on the cameras. Even with signs, there may be restrictions on placement/use. of course, not putting up signs/warning them could result in lawsuits.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

There is nothing wrong with it either as that is just going to happen with so many different people using the hardware. But by the same token you don't need to make it easy for the students either. :D At one place where I worked at, the School had Adult Education Classes at night and they where much worse than the kids but there was nothing deliberate in the damage just a lack of knowledge which there is no cure for. All of this was done about 30 years ago now with a few days per month when the PC's got acceptable in schools for repairs to Loaners to see what damage would be done in Schools. I had almost forgotten all about this till this thread cropped up and not only did it force me to remember the school work but the Adult Education Classes as well. :( Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Fixing the mess that the kids made. Things that where screwed into a Sewing Machine with uncommon screwdrivers where stolen without a second thought by the kids. The easy to steal things where left alone well at least after they where broken and needed a Tech to fix them again. During a very busy period 10 new Sewing Machines where sent out to 1 school and 3 days latter when I got there to do a Predelivery Service I was confronted by plies of [b]Scrap Metal & Plastic.[/b] I just don't expect anything better from the kids particularly with Computers which are no longer new and interesting they have moved to the[b]Normal[/b] Status and as such are a reason that you have to work. Break them and you cut back the amount of work you need to do. :D Col

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

lock all of the computer equipment away. Allow the students to 'see' the monitor but not get too close. no visible parts, they can view what is on the monitor only. A script can run the links from whatever program is in control (math for math students, etc.). Then they will have a very low failure rate, but education gets dropped massively as well. OR get a chair that ties everyone up real good. they can type, but not do anything else (gets them used to a keyboard better). shackles and all.... LOL

jdclyde
jdclyde

run by tax dollars, the kids shouldn't ever have to pay for equipment like that anyways. It really is a hardship to some families, to be forced to pony up for extras at school. I know.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Now, if you did it in the locker room, (and get caught) you would really have legal issues, but not in a class room. A lot of schools have cameras in the halls already.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

[i]These are the students public schools have the majority of problems with.[/i] The students in Private Schools are actually worse than those in Public Schools in many ways. Quite a few of them have the attitude that I'm better than you and you should know this. Again they get this from their parents quite often and the Private Schools don't do anything to discourage this action. If they did the Upper Class Snobs that pass as students would run home complaining loudly to Mommy & Daddy and they would get moved to a different school. The Parents would then go around at the very least deriding the school for not looking after their little Angel and this would lead to a loss of income for that school. So out of economic necessity the Private School Kids can get away with much more than the kids at Public Schools. Col

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Social indoctrination is, in fact, what schools are all about. They teach information that allows us to function in society: how to read, write comprehensibly, etc. How to get along with people who aren't family is also part of that, as is learning the responsibilities that go with the rights of which we're so fond. Ethics [i]are[/i] taught at home, primarily by example. Unfortunately, too many parents provide the example "Don't get caught," even while saying "This is right, that is wrong." Children also learn about personal interaction from their parents. If children don't get a good social indoctrination at home, including ethics, [u]where will it come from[/u] if not at school? Edit: Schools should encourage positive behaviors learned in the home and discourage negative behaviors. Unfortunately, many children (not a majority, but many) have no positive role model from which to learn. These are the students public schools have the majority of problems with.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Standards of acceptable conduct is one thing, but ethics and social indoctrination are two things the schools and government should stay out of. Teaching people they have rights, but also teach them that their rights have limits, and stop where the next persons right start. The social teachings of anything goes, is what got us into the trouble we are in now.

PSer
PSer

You - If there is no fear of consequences, how do you propose to teach individual responsibility? Whe the student graduates, enters the workforce, and discovers that there are consequences for destroying company property, the first reaction will be "that's not fair." Are you proposing that all employers follow the logic that "Well, it's cheap, I'll just replace it?" Me - Why does the consequence at school have to be in the form of an adult physically striking a child? The rest of this paragraph is specious in your assertions as to the "reaction" of the hypothetical "graduate" and my supposed "proposal". BTW: When I use the double quotes ("stuff"), I am quoting your word's. You putting a quoted statement in a sentence asking of my insinuated "proposal" makes it look as though I made the statement in quotation, I did not. You - When these young people enter the workforce, they need to be completely equipped to become productive citizens. School is not just about facts. It is preparation for adulthood. In the real world, if you tear up your employer's equipment, you get fired. Me - I do like the "When these young people enter the workforce, they need to be completely equipped to become productive citizens." part, you know, 'cause EVERY other young person who has EVER entered the workforce HAS/IS been COMPLETELY equipped to become productive citizens! That's why we live in the Utopian society that we do, right? Oh hell, discussion over! :( You - Schools need to go back to teaching ethics. Yea it WILL involve value judgments. Teaching respect for property rights is a fundamental issue. True, it needs to be taught at home: the schools can't do it all. But some instruction is better than none Me - I will address one sentence in the above ? "Yea it WILL involve value judgments.". Whose values ... yours or mine? See what I mean? You - I personally value my liberty. Therefore ALL forms of socialism are bad, including Social Security, which I'll never see. Me - S.S. is bad because ? "you'll never see it"??? So, when you start getting a check it'll be okay? If not, will you not sign up for and or refuse to accept S.S. benefits because participating in such a program (you have already been paying into since you've been working) will mean that you have to give up your liberty, somehow? Will you encourage any elderly relatives of your own to do the same NOW to end the madness, as you see it?!?!? You - I'm not attacking you. But please think about it. :- ) Me - Right back atcha!

therrington
therrington

If there is no fear of consequences, how do you propose to teach individual responsibility? Whe the student graduates, enters the workforce, and discovers that there are consequences for destroying company property, the first reaction will be "that's not fair." Are you proposing that all employers follow the logic that "Well, it's cheap, I'll just replace it?" When these young people enter the workforce, they need to be completely equipped to become productive citizens. School is not just about facts. It is preparation for adulthood. In the real world, if you tear up your employer's equipment, you get fired. Schools need to go back to teaching ethics. Yea it WILL involve value judgments. Teaching respect for property rights is a fundamental issue. True, it needs to be taught at home: the schools can't do it all. But some instruction is better than none I personally value my liberty. Therefore ALL forms of socialism are bad, including Social Security, which I'll never see. I'm not attacking you. But please think about it. :- )

RFink
RFink

I blame the parents. Having children is a voluntary process. Procreation is NOT in the Bill of Rights. If you can't take care of your children then you shouldn't have them. Plain and simple. The schools should be allowed to suspend/expel the trouble makers. If a kid disrupts the class, remove him. If the police would start arresting the punks, bullies and vandals it would make life better for everyone else. The schools would never do that. It would cut into their state funding.

jdclyde
jdclyde

between people that are underemployed struggling to get by, and people that are just living beyond what they need. I hear all the time about the poor poor, as they smoke away $2000 a year, as they talk on their cell phones, watching cable TV on a big screen set. Life is full of choices, and working to live in a more expensive house and drive fancy cars, instead of raising your kids, is just another bad choice many make. Single parents, underemployed parents, there are always situations where you do what you need to do to get by, but by the time you figure out the cost of the day care, many underemployed people are not getting ahead. I made $20K a year, raising a family of four, by working two jobs and going to school at night. After the boys were two, the ex went back to work, so I got myself moved to second shift, to keep from having to pay for the daycare. After daycare and taxes, the ex would have been working for about $2 and hour. $80 a week is not worth what your kids are exposed to. As for the smack, they both needed it, badly. Well, that or have the kid teach me on how he trained his mother, so I could do the same to the ex to get her to shut up on command.... And yes, there is a difference between a swat on the ass and beating someone, and you NEVER discipline the kids while your mad, verbally or physically.

maecuff
maecuff

C'mon! Do you really think the majority of people have their kids in daycare because a fancy house is more important than being with their kids?? We live very simply, because of that, one of us was able to stay home and raise the little one. We are lucky that my salary can support that. In many cases, it takes both parents to earn a wage that can support a family. And they DON'T live in fancy houses or drive expensive cars. When my older son was small, I wasn't so lucky. He had to go to daycare so that I could provide for him. The point is, discipline can and should be taught by the parents, you might face difficulties if you have to put your kid in daycare, but that doesn't mean you can't be successful. I agree, an 8 year old who tells his/her mother to shut up is a discipline problem, but that problem started from the beginning, daycare or not. And it's not the kid's fault, it's the parent's fault. Smacking the kid doesn't make much sense. Smacking the parent? Well, I'm for that. :)

jdclyde
jdclyde

I am often shocked at how horrible the MAJORITY of children are today. The parents have sent them off to daycare as long as they can remember, because having a big house and fancy cars was more important than raising children. Respect and discipline are not things learned in daycare. I have been in a restaurant and will see the behavior of the other kids. I will look at my boys and say "Thank you". They ask thanks for what, and I explain that I appreciate them more and more when I see how other kids act in public. And yes, I say it so the parents of the offending child can hear me. When you see an 8 year old child tell his mother to shut up, and she does, there is something very wrong.

Joe_R
Joe_R

Discipline doesn't automatically mean hitting a kid. Actually, I'm against hitting kids in any form and at any age. I've never laid a hand on my son, and have only rarely raised my voice to him. He's one of the best kids around, and that's according to other people. He's the perfect teenager, if there is such a thing. Developing a sense of mutual respect is probably the best way to keep a kid on the right path and aware of the sense of what's right and wrong. The problem with these kids in Jessie's school is that they've never experienced respect, either giving or receiving. Once realized, it goes a long way.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That the schools have no ability to discipline. Regardless of what they do the Kids run the show. I personally don't have a problem with Corporal Punishment or any punishment as long as it's [b]fair.[/b] I just haven't seen any discipline at all in schools for a very long time. I'm not even sure that the teachers believed me when my kids where at school as I was insistent that I knew my kids and they certainly where no Angels but by the same token where not BAD but would get away with as much as they could. When there are no limits they have nothing to push against so they go bad. That is the main trouble with the way children are treated today they have no concept of Consequences for their actions as they where never placed in a position where they are taught this. Just think back and which teacher that you had when at school is the one that is most Memorable? In my case it was a Grade 3 Male teacher who ruled the class with a iron fist. He would throw a duster at any kid who wasn't paying attention and was one of the hardest people I have ever meet. Strange thing is that everyone in that class thinks exactly the same way about this guy and consider him as one of their best teachers. I at least remember the Tough but Fair ones rather than the ones that allowed me to get away with murder. Here at least a student doesn't have to comply with directions if they don't want to and there is really nothing that anyone can do if the child refuses to comply. I actually never worked for a school but a company who supplied equipment to schools so I went to every school here as well as other government institutions like jails. I can honestly say that it was far safer to go to a Maximum Security Jail than a school as you where safer. Even though you had to fight to carry a screwdriver into the place and you needed to take everything required in the first time as you couldn't leave when you liked. The Jail also sent a Trustee to guide you around inside the jail and they where always locked up for several murders. These people who where supposedly dangerous where far less likely to do anything but a school girl was always a potential problem who could say anything and there was no possibility of defending yourself against a totally scurrilous claim. If you ever relaxed your guard and acted like they where actually human you where in for a world of hurt and problems so you need to believe that the kids are all monsters who are out to get you or you've got a world of problems that will haunt you for life. One of my staff was accused of [b]Touching[/b] a young girl and other than the fact that the girl was a known lier attempting to get attention at every opportunity he would have been crucified by the system for something that he didn't do. Even if the girl admitted that she lied that allegation would never have been forgotten and he would have always been believed guilty and only got off because the girl was too scared to follow through with the complaint. Of course he never returned to a school again but that was his decision. :D Jails and Mental Institutions where far safer than anyplace that involved children. The most dangerous place that we ever went to was a Youth Offenders Institution where the children where very dangerous and I never allowed any of my staff to go there alone or enter the place without Armed Security. The reality in places like that was the Boys where dangerous and if given half a chance would beat the Snot out of you but the girls where far more dangerous and where likely to kill you for looking at them the wrong way. As a male if you work in a environment with young children you need to firmly believe that they are all out to get you if you don't there will be an allegation made against you of a sexual nature and as Children Never Lie once you have been accused you are stuffed for life. Col

PSer
PSer

I am a Parent and a new Grandparent, believe me, I "understand" the need for discipline. I have to ask, where in any of my posts did I say that there should be NO discipline??? I never as much as implied that that was my stance, opinion, or belief in any way shape or form. I would ask that you read my posts again because that is NOT what I was saying ? at all. While I can appreciate your unique perspective in having worked for a school. I don't really agree with your assertion that "Children are lying stealing thieving cunning little Monsters that we need to be protect(ed) from". Some ... yes. All ? not even close! Also, I am not so foolish or naive that a few "horror stories" are needed to 'open my eyes' to the sad state of affairs in our (USA) school system or so I can "UNDERSTAND" your point of view. Believe me, I can match you horror story for horror story. However, that is not my objective. As a matter of fact, my only REAL objective was to give MY opinion in a discussion here that touched on a subject that is an important part of my life. Nothing more ? nothing less. Maybe it's my fault and I really should find some time to fill out my TR Bio. but I'll say again (as mentioned in other posts). My wife is an L.P.C. whose ONLY clients are children (and non-offensive family members) that are victims of every kind of abuse you can imagine, and some I hope you don't EVEN try to imagine! Most of our charity work revolves around abused children and their families. I fly the colors of B.A.C.A. (Bikers Against Child Abuse). This is NOT a foreign subject/topic for me and my opinions expressed on this matter will NEVER change ... simple as that.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Isn't possible. With the advent of the Schools not being able to punish the kids in any way the Kids have taken control of the asylum. One School at a tourist resort near here has a major problem well not actually as the kids get suspended so it's no longer the Schools Problem. Just Picture this a Nice sunny Day and the Beach is so inviting, but you have to go to school. Solution walk up to the Head and say this to them You are a Complete F### W## F### O##. Schools only response is Suspension for 3 days which is exactly what the little monster wants. So they are being rewarded for being naughty and the school passes the problem off itself. Of course the School being a Good Public Citizen sends a letter to the Parents who are working to feed & cloth the kid so the kid is home sometime after the mail arrives but before the parent returns home. They know what the schools envelopes look like as they have brought enough home over the years or have been told so they lift them out of the mail and the parent knows noting better. Of course the School not receiving any response from the parent/s then lists those parent/s as Not Interested in the kids welfare and this is then a record for the rest of that time at school and this record follows the kid till it leaves school. So just how is there any punishment when this happens? After all the kid is getting exactly what it wants several days on the beach with no school work to worry about & if they get too far behind they only have to swear at the teacher again to get more time off school. In one case that I know of a kid went to the Government and reported that it was being abused so it was put on Welfare for it's own protection and allowed to live where it told the Social Worker it was safe. The next day it returned tot he same Government Office and told the same Social Worker the Same story and gave the same address but a different name. This kid was living at home and being paid by the Government for it's protection under 3 different names at the same address. The Social Worker even had the mother arrested for Stalking the kid when they came to check out the child and found it's mother home looking after the sick kid. Of course the Social Worker couldn't speak to the parent because the kid had told them how violent the Parent was. The Social Worker needed to be protected from this Dangerous Person. Pity that the same Social Worker couldn't be protected from the child who was both cunning and dishonest. Children are not [b]Little Angels[/b] they are lying stealing thieving cunning little Monsters that we need to be protect from. Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Back in the early 70's I worked in schools with Sewing Machines and even then now 30 odd years ago now, things where terrible. While the students had to supply the Needles and Bobbins the school provided everything else for Domestic Science Classes. The Sewing Machines and latter Over Lockers took a terrible canning and where regularly serviced as we where under contract to do this at least 3 times per year and then the normal repairs for breakages. I've seen parts that are screwed into the machines with special screwdrivers missing and these where not $10.00 parts but $300.00 Parts at [b]Government Prices.[/b] Then things like knobs on the outside of the machines went missing with alarming regularity and these where just prized off breaking the knob but leaving the working parts intact. But it still took hours to repair each machine and while the parts looked simple to replace when you finally had the thing in bits and where sliding in a new part in you had to leave the room because you couldn't stay there by yourself. This happened in under 3 days between being delivered and me hitting that school to do a predelivery service. I also lost the hubcaps of the company car that day. :( After working through that, I didn't want anything to do with [b]School Work[/b] ever again. But by your description here you are pretty well on top of things and know what to expect. You have things fairly well setup so the damage is minimal and relatively cheap. At a guess I'm imagining that the kids haven't woken up that if they all steal the same keys off the Keyboards this effectively disables them all at the same time. :D Even my puppies where a wake up to that as I would always loose my left shoe when there was a litter at home. That used to drive [b]SWMBO[/b] nuts. I think that she still has several Right Thongs left over from that time. :^0 Col

Jessie
Jessie

These kids, when they find they can't work, assume that it is now social hour. The problem here really, is that these kids teachers and their parents gave up on them a LONG time ago, and they've now given up on themselves. Making teachers responsible for what goes on in their classrooms doesn't do any good until you make administrators and parents responsible for what goes on in the school. I see so many teachers who send a kid to the office for cussing them out, only to get the kid sent straight back to class, and the teacher berated for sending such a piddlin' problem to the office. The administration's hands are tied by parents who believe both that "while they're at school, they're YOUR problem, not mine," and that "you may not lay a hand on my child in punishment, and whatever discipline you decide on should not inconvenience me, the parent." I'd say we should all just home school the kids but that would be dooming a lot of very bright kids to no education at all from parents who can't be bothered.

PSer
PSer

"If someone lips off in class", remove from class and or school! "If someone steals something", call the Police. "If someone breaks something" ... Really? that blanket statement of "Breaking something" deserves a "Whack". What if it was an accident, someone else who actually broke it and is "bigger and or meaner" than the accused? For an intentional break, see "lips off in class" and add applicable restitution to the school or owner of said "something". So, beating children is the way to teach them respect huh? As long as it is "Fair", right? Then tell me, who is to decide what is FAIR and FIRM? An underpaid, overworked, teacher who may be (most likely IS) having a bad day? I think not. Now, if a parent of said "brat" wants to "Whack" their child that IS their right as the parent of that child. I for one, am not ready to hand over that right to just any old teacher, coach, principle, etc. How would you feel if one of the Things came home with black and blue bruises from lower back to upper thighs because he "lipped off" ... did he deserved to be punished, yes. Physically beaten and bruised, no. It's school not prison for God's sake! "Time outs" is for toddlers (and does work). Do NOT believe in medicating. Hurting the feelings of a misbehaving child ... not at all concerned about that. But, if YOU or anyone else "Whacks" my child ... expect reciprocation ... from ME. Then maybe there'll be some respect for MY parental rights! The obligation of teaching right from wrong starts and continues at home. Yes, not all have that structure at home. However, as a society, we do NOT have the right to use physical abuse on the less fortunate children than ours to conform them to ... whomever's moral compass happens to be at the other end of the "Whack". That could change class to class, grade to grade, school to school, etc. Think about it, if the same "rules" applied to adults ... all we would ever do is go around "Whacking" everyone who thinks or believes different than ourselves. Oh, wait a minute, that IS the way Bush and his ilk would have it! Never mind ...

jdclyde
jdclyde

If someone lips off in class, WHACK! If someone steals something, WHACK! If someone breaks something, WHACK! The ability to remove the brat from class should also be used a lot more than it is now. I personally have to drive PAST the school less than a mile away and drive 15 miles each way, because the local school, it is very common for the 12 year old brats to tell a teacher "F you" in the middle of class and nothing is done about it. Time-outs do not work. Worrying about hurting the little brats feelings does not work. Medicating every kid that doesn't want to pay attention does not work. When there is FAIR, but FIRM discipline, there is also RESPECT. The little brats today have no respect for anything and THAT is the problem.

PSer
PSer

"Personally, I think the whole problem really started when we took away the teacher/school's right to spank our children." Really Jessie? You think that just anyone who can get a job teaching has the right to physically strike Yours, Mine, or Other's children at their discrepancy? Shhhyeah ? I disagree! As the past recipient of MANY trips to the hallway to get "pops" from some very creative home made "Instructional Beating/Teaching devices", I can tell you it only encouraged more rebelling not less. I've received and seen many black and blue bruises from the upper thighs to the lower back due to these "teaching methods". Corporal punishment in schools does NOT work as intended, it just empowers the teachers with the ability to physically abuse ... which some do/have. Maybe we should water board the entire class to find out who has the balls and switched and or stole some keyboard keys! Sounds a little severe but hey ... they deserved it right?!?! Okay, I won't harp on this anymore as I am sure your frustration with this problem is very real and I am not meaning to berate you or anything of the sort. I wish I had the magic answer to your situation. I have seen some good ideas proposed, maybe a solution can be found in these posts. But I'll leave you with one last thought. Personally, I think, teaching through fear of being physically harmed is neither the cause nor the answer to your missing Keys and or mouse balls, nor is it a constructive way to TEACH at SCHOOL at ALL.

jdclyde
jdclyde

The right to spank wouldn't do any good for the teachers that you have already shown see security of the school equipment as not their problem. If their department keeps getting hit for a NEW keyboard/mouse everytime this happens, someone further up the food chain will take notice and take care of the problem, which is the teachers. I would also make the replacement of this NOT something you drop everything for. If a kid can't do their work, they will be pissed and rat out the punkassbitch that is trashing the equipment. Keeping spares on hand would also not be a priority. Put a sign on it, put in a requisition for a new mouse/keyboard charged to that department, and replace it when the new part comes in. Until it affects THEM, this is YOUR problem, not theirs. Have you discussed this with the principal?

Jessie
Jessie

The labs are always locked when not in use, but they're pretty much only not in use AFTER school. The computers themselves are stored inside locked cabinets with a board down the center of the desks to hide the cables and the monitors are down inside the desks covered by tempered glass (or in the case of the children's psych hospital, plexiglass). The only things the students CAN get to is the keyboard, mouse, and headphones. I've told all my teachers with outdated mice to glue the mouse ball covers shut, but they don't see this as their problem and I haven't had time yet to go in and glue them shut for all 26 classrooms that are still configured this way. Perhaps I'll do that this summer. I keep all the keyboards that can no longer be used due to missing keyboard keys and use them for their spare keys. All the cables on the back of the system are zip-tied to the monitor cable which the student cannot unscrew unless the teacher gets complacent and leaves the cabinets unlocked. This at least prevents the students from just yanking the mice, headphones, and keyboards. Personally, I think the whole problem really started when we took away the teacher/school's [i]right[/i] to spank our children. Didn't have to do it to many of the kids per year... just one or two a year and everyone realized there were consequences for their actions and they were too scared to mess up.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

The district I taught in always kept the labs locked when unoccupied.

JustinF
JustinF

Unless the computer lab needs to be open all the time with unrestricted access for the students just lock the keyboards & mice away when not in use. This usually has to be done with equipment in Science, Sport, wood & metal work and so on anyway so it shouldn't be a big deal.

PSer
PSer

the debates. Also, with an open mind, I have even watched as many of the Rep. debates as I have been able to. You claimed they called it "Communist" I said prove it, you did not. You perverted their words and statements to fit your rant, that is all that was. "The government is NOT there to solve our every woe and take care of us. Take care of yourself." - JDclyde But you would let the "Government" beat your children??? That's kind of a$$ backwards thinking from where I am sitting. It's obvious you have put NO other effort into researching the proposed Health care plans of either candidate as you have already drawn your own conclusions and filled in all of the blanks from whatever sound bites you have heard. Therefore, I will not debate this topic with you as it serves no real purpose and is a bit off-topic as well. We'll continue to disagree ... on many if not most topics. However, I think we can both agree that that in and of itself ... is a good thing! Hopefully, no hard feelings. I harbor none ...

jdclyde
jdclyde

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFQtynNRrJM starts talking health care at about 1 minute in. No, they don't USE the word communist, but if the government is going to FORCE you to get this health care, and even garnish your wages, what do you consider that? I HAVE health care, because I busted my ass to get a job that provides that as part of the compensation package. I will get punished by going into the government system? Waiting in line, even more limits on what is covered and what isn't? I don't think so. And M. Moore is a lier and a punk. He will gleefully distort and misrepresent to push his stated agendas. He does not make documentaries, he makes opinion based hit flicks. Where does ANYONE come up with the pipedream that they have some kind of RIGHT to free healthcare? Sure, it is illegal to be turned away if you have an emergency, but like any other service in life, why are YOU not suppose to have to pay for it? And no, it isn't "the government" paying for it, it is US paying for it. Sure, lets add all the bureaucracy overhead that sucks off about 80% of all funds collected and let them run healthcare? Yeah, they do a peachy job with medicare. The government is NOT there to solve our every woe and take care of us. Take care of yourself. The reason healthcare is so expensive is because of government and union workers that had the zero deductible coverage not CARING how much anything cost, and going in for every little thing. That pushed the prices up because no one cared how much it cost. Well, now WE are paying the price for their stupidity and selfishness by paying higher prices. putting "the government" in charge will NOT bring prices down, it will make services harder to get. Talk to the Canadians and Brits on here about waiting for months for an appointment. As GG about it, Neil or Tony, they will tell you. Ask James in Canada. You get what you pay for, and the welfare mentality is going to destroy our country.

PSer
PSer

I was with you right up until the last paragraph! Oh well, I knew it was coming. :) "have both come right out and said, that they are going to FORCE people to buy the communist health care" Can you provide a link where they referred to it as "Communist health care"? 'Cause, I have been following them pretty closely and have not heard that reference once. Although, I don't really watch FOX news! :P BTW: I know how much you despise Michael Moore, but did you happen to see "Sicko"? If not, you should, you know the whole "Know thy enemy" thing. Plus you could see just how awful Universal Health Care is to the citizens of Countries like France, Canada, G.B., and yes ... even Cuba. Now there's Communist health care for ya, and yes, it is still a better system than the one we (USA) have now. Pretty F'in sad if you ask me! :(

jdclyde
jdclyde

It IS a good investment to have "the government" take care of infrastructure. It is a good investment to have an educated workforce, and we would if we could get the corrupt teachers union out of there. I am not saying give everyone a laptop to take home, but having an equipped and modern computer lab is important. If we are going to continue to have public schools, give them the tools to do the job. If not, shut them down altogether. I am even not against a "safety net", as long as it is only ALLOWED to be a temporary safety net. After a short time, the bottom drops out and the free gravy train is over. Of course the welfare party.. I mean Democrats are going to FREAK once they realize what both Obama and Rodham-Clinton have both come right out and said, that they are going to FORCE people to buy the communist health care. All the welfare rats are drooling because they think they are going to just get another handout.

PSer
PSer

"the kids shouldn't ever have to pay for equipment like that anyways. It really is a hardship to some families, to be forced to pony up for extras at school. I know." As do I JD, but this sounds like "crazy", "looser", "liberal" talk! Surely you're not suggesting we take earnings from one (many)citizen(s) to cover another (many 'less fortunate' citizens)... are you? :? (I can just see old "gone fishing M.E." having a massive coronary upon hearing such talk!) No offense meant. I think it's great that even one of the most vehement "anti-liberal" posters on this site sees there are situations where the government should "be there" for Families suffering from possibly a myriad of hardships! I am sure you'll have a great response as to what you really meant by this comment and will again assert your anti-liberal stance on EVERYTHING, and that's cool. You've got your feet planted firmly and I for one can't see you changing your spots any more than I. It was just good to see you acknowledge that families can be in "hardship" situations where a Government program could, would, and should be in place to "assist" those in need.

therrington
therrington

I'm ALMOST to the place that if the parents will not allow the school to discipline there baby, they can take them home and home school them. Perhaps if all kids who don't excel by 9th grade got shunted into manual trades, ala Japan, pretty soon the parents would wake up. No, bubblehads NEVER learn

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

so it is likely laws have been changed since due to the 'frivilous lawsuits' that started in the 80's. However, I beleive written consent is needed in order to place cameras in specific areas still. And this was a large company, I doubt it was just being 'too lazy to look up the laws'.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

There are legal issues involved with cameras in the classroom, not least of which is that the majority of the occupants are minors whose images cannot usually be captured by the school without [u]explicit[/u] parental consent. The parents of EVERY student who could be captured on camera in that classroom would have to sign a release. Sports and activity photos for school-related purposes are covered in the authorization forms and releases. Cameras in the hallways are also covered differently. Edit: clarify

jdclyde
jdclyde

they were to lazy to find out what the laws were, and were more afraid of a potential lawsuit than concerned about the theft. And with the liberal losers hijacking our courts where they try to change the meanings of laws because they can't get the laws legally changed. They have allowed stupid lawsuits to go through our systems, and so there is little discipline in the schools. Might hurt some little punks feelings or something. A sad state of affairs.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

I worked at one place that had a lot of theft in a certain part of the building. They had cameras, but they had been disabled. They could not re-enable them due to legal issues because it was an area that was not a 'restricted' area and was not a 'common' area. It was just an everyday 'work' area (cubicles and all). At least that is what I was told about it at the time. Maybe the laws have changed and maybe it was only Ca. laws, I cannot say. But, just flipping a camera on can induce lawsuits and/or be illegal.