What we need around here are head-mounted video cameras on the students. If it's good enough for the San Jose Police officers, then it's good enough for us. If I could get a research grant allowing for the recording of 245 individual "days in the life" of each student, it would solve a lot of the MUS CSI issues which arise during the course of the day. "Someone stole my shoes," goes the charge from a student to me in the office at 3:16 p.m., he pretty sure that I have omniscient clairvoyance. What we find is that 9.8765432 times out of 10, the individual has mistakenly misplaced his belongings, or better, he has attributed to the inanimate object sole responsibility for the event, i.e., "it got lost," avoiding all personal responsibility in the matter.
Our boys frequently misplace their belongings. I find $130.00 calculators just lying on the floor about every day. Textbooks as well, and they cost about the same. More, the "borrowing" of property does occur among students, and it is not allowed, especially any student going into another student's locker, with or without another student's permission. That's an Honor Code violation.
What I mean to say by this is, yes, sometimes a student takes a textbook, not belonging to him, to class because he couldn't find his own, or, yes, a buddy in another period who does not need his textbook that moment says, "yeah, use mine." Sheesh. The addition of the head-mounted video camera to the mix would alleviate all anxiety as we could simply request the device of an inquiring student be placed into the relay display and review all the boy's steps, thus pinpointing the exact time, place, and circumstances surrounding the event. I want to own the movie rights to this effort.
Or, we could continue the current practice of, "Well, son, I don't know. Why don't you exhaust every potential avenue at your disposal, including looking at home, and get back to me tomorrow." Amazing how successful the latter procedure is at locating personal belongings of middle school-age boys. After all, is not one of the reasons we work with this age of boy is to teach him personal responsibility and respect for his property as well as for the belongings of others? Of course it is, and it's often a bit sloppy, but it's necessary. The satirical video camera experiment would just arrest the collective efforts we all employ to help these lads become aware and responsible. As for the San Jose cops, if it could only be so simple.