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I think someone is stealing my sons PE kit in school

(30 Posts)
welshbyrd Mon 13-Jun-11 18:48:59

DS is 7yo. Since September he has lost a jumper, few socks etc, nothing I would not call normal

That was until 2 months ago, his whole PE bag vanished. He went to lost property, changing rooms etc to look for it. Nothing. It was a Doctor Who backpack, with his name clearly written on inside of it, its contents were a man utd top [this seasons] and a pair of ordinary shorts. I thought a child with a similar bag had picked it up, and once his/her mum checked bag/washed PE kit, she would realize, and send it back in

This never happened, and seems bag has disappeared off the face of the earth

As DS has dyspraxia [forgetfulness, lack of organisational skills] and the bag had not been returned, I thought he had mislaid it

Until last Thrusday, DS has PE again, this time he came home with his bag [had bought him a new one]. Pulled it out to wash, had his shorts in, and missing was a Welsh rugby shit [this seasons again]
His auntie works at the school, so she helped DS look in the lost property, for the shirt, again nothing

I can not help thinking he stuff is being stolen
I have phoned the school, they were going to have a good look tonight, and send a letter home with DS tomorrow as to whether they found anything.

Im assuming after they do not find anything [I know they wont, because auntie has throughly checked], they are going to send me a note of no they can not find it. And that will be the end of it
Which if Im honest Im not happy about!!!!
Anyone else had any dealings of this sort?

welshbyrd Mon 13-Jun-11 18:50:10

OMG not a welsh rugby shit, I meant Shirt, sorry blush

redskyatnight Mon 13-Jun-11 18:52:51

I'd suggest sending him in with plain white T shirt and black shorts and see if that goes missing. Surely not a good idea to send in expensive stuff anyway?

DD's brand new cardigan went walkabouts. DS's (plain white, thereby invalidating my own advice) PE top also vanished and never reappeared. I like to think that they are sitting in someone's house and their parents will eventually get round to returning them but not holding out much hope smile

JamieAgain Mon 13-Jun-11 18:54:30

Get your DS to make a poster. A really cute winsome one, saying something like; Lost! Have to taken the wrong PE kit? get it laminated and ask to put it up somewhere prominent. If someone has taken it, it may shame them into returning it. But things do get lost alarmingly easily.

welshbyrd Mon 13-Jun-11 19:02:36

I don't know what to do, his PE bag is left in the cloakroom, during school time, DS is sure he put rugby shirt in his bag after PE.
Only way anyone could have come across it would have been to go into his bag and take it,which is theft

I know was not a good idea sending them in, they were birthday presents, which is why im so pissed off

plainwhitet Mon 13-Jun-11 19:30:52

Next time put the name tapes on the outside of the shorts and shirt as well as the inside. No other kid will be able to wear them and if he/she takes them home the parent should realise pretty quickly. I know a child this happened to. The mother sewed the tapes on with green cotton. The thief cut off the tapes but left the cotton, which the mother spotted. The thief was apprehended (!) and confessed all. I suspect you are right and they are being pinched, I would be livid too. You can also buy extra large name tapes which might help your son and others in the changing room.

mollymole Mon 13-Jun-11 20:11:47

i would mark your sons clothing with a marker pen so that the labels cannot be cut off and send in plain clothing for PE

florapup Mon 13-Jun-11 20:36:07

My DS's entire P.E kit went missing - everything was school regulation kit, fully name labelled. He hadn't known whether it was to be indoor or outdoor P.E that day so he had taken his entire kit in with him including astro turf trainers - the whole lot disappeared into thin air! Over £100 worth of compulsory kit gone! He had left it on a bench and when he returned to collect it it had gone! Clearly theft! It was only 6 weeks before the end of term so I refused to replace it - school didn't argue! He goes to a very good school but thieves are amongst us everywhere I'm afraid!

At my DD's school you are asked to sew name labels on the front of their P.E shirts and shorts - makes it instantly noticeable if a child has the wrong kit on - so, will at least discourage some. Also, if your school does not have a regulation kit then I would definitely only ever provide the most basic plain white T-shirt and black shorts - not so attractive and at least very cheap to replace!

moosemama Mon 13-Jun-11 20:48:51

My ds1's summer coat went missing when he was in year 1, it wasn't particularly expensive, but was unusual and unlikely anyone else would have had the same one. Teacher asked everyone to check they hadn't taken it home by mistake, helped him check lost property in infants and juniors and searched the classrooms and cloakrooms. No joy.

At the beginning of this year, bearing in mind ds1 is now in year 4, his younger brother came home with the missing coat! shock Turns out it had been shoved behind some storage boxes in a part of the school pupils aren't usually allowed in (storage area) and was found when they started renovation/building works.

There's no way ds could have 'accidentally' left it there, so I'm assuming it was most likely stolen and hidden by the same bullies that were bullying him back in year 1 and in actual fact still are. angry

Both boys now get bog standard, plain black rain coats and nothing we or he has any attachment to, or was expensive is ever taken to school.

welshbyrd Tue 14-Jun-11 07:25:59

Jeez moosemama - really sorry about your son being bullied, must be horrendous for him and yourself, for 3 years too. sad

Tbh this is partly the reason DS has this seasons bits and bobs, he has Dyspraxia, and can not spell even his surname, as he is a junior now, its only a matter of time, for the other children to realize there is something different about DS, by trying to keep him in the latests kit/coats/bags/shoes im hoping to avoid the obvious, and make him appear like everyone else sad
Im dreading secondary school sad

God hope im not going to be flamed for this now

bruffin Tue 14-Jun-11 07:33:41

DS managed to lose his PE kit twice in yr7. The second time it went missing for 8 months, it just turned up at student services one day.

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 14-Jun-11 07:40:15

I suspect you are right. My DD has had two sets of PE kit and two bags. Both are specific to the school and in total cost 45 euros.
I replaced set one with set two. Set two disappeared a couple of months ago and I refused to buy new.
I have my suspicions with regard to who is taking it, but, as I have no proof DD has been doing PE in some rather tight flowery shorts and a plain t.shirt.
IMO, it is just spite that is making this particular individual steal my DDs kit.
Roll on Friday, they end for the year at midday.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 14-Jun-11 07:45:03

You really, really shouldn't be sending brand new, expensive, fashionable kit into school, it's a very bad plan and just asking to be stolen sadly. There are in every school, some children and parents, who even if the child did take the bag by mistake, would quite happily keep the contents once they realised. An expensive, but entirely avoidable, lesson well learned I hope? I am sympathetic, it just that my son takes only plain supermarket p.e. kit, but has managed to lose even that three times over, sigh!

CurrySpice Tue 14-Jun-11 07:46:10

I think it much more likely he's lost it than it bring stolen. My friend's son loses at least one major item a week including school shoes

peanutbutterkid Tue 14-Jun-11 07:51:59

DC used to lose plain white t-shirts, too. Until I used permanent marker to write our surname on the outside of the collar. Haven't had any losses since wink.

Is it too deeply uncool to send in cool but slightly dated kit, say several years old that you picked up for 50p at a carboot? Still trendyish, but not too desirable.

Mandy2003 Tue 14-Jun-11 08:39:43

I may be hoiking up the judgeypants here, sorry, but why is he taking this season's premier league kit to school for PE??

My DS's primary only allowed them to wear plain navy shorts and white T-shirt, with a navy tracksuit (no logos). As everything was the same, nothing got stolen.

If they forgot their kit the school had spares, provided via Sainsbury's Active Kids which was in very cheap scratchy blue nylon, like a prison kit I'd guess, and so nasty kids never forgot their own kit again!

GiddyPickle Tue 14-Jun-11 08:43:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Tue 14-Jun-11 08:57:52

Kit goes missing all the time.
I am sure it may get stolen but never underestimate a Childs ability to be absolutely positive that they left kit at x place and it turns up months later at y.
Every term the school lay out tables of kit that has been lost -the mountains of stuff is shocking. I have had found an entire swimming kit which dd swore was on her peg. It was apparently one of four that were left on coaches during the year and got returned by the coach company months later.

I have found named shorts etc in amongst ds1s washed kit in his drawer -I just hadn't noticed when I shoved it all in the machine.

Dd lost her brand new blazer 2nd day of term last September. I found it about a month ago. The cleaners had a lost property cupboard that they hadn't mentioned to anyone [sigh]

StayingDavidTennantsGirl Tue 14-Jun-11 08:58:32

At ds1's grammar school they had to have specific, expensive PE kit - only available from the school. The rugby socks alone cost £4.50 a pair, and he had to have ordinary sports socks, indoor kit, outdoor kit, rugby shirt, rugby boots and indoor and outdoor trainers - all in the school kitbag. There was nowhere secure to leave the kitbags, and they weren't allowed to take them into class, so the bags got left on racks round the school.

Obviously, as all the bags looked the same, it was easy to pick up the wrong kitbag, and usually when this happened, the bag was just dumped, not returned from whence it came. But there was also a rather nasty 'prank' that involved taking someone's kitbag, and distributing the contents all round the school, or just dumping the bag somewhere out of bounds so no-one would think to look for it there.

This happened not once but twice to ds1 during the three years he was at the school. The first time the kit was just scattered, and he managed to find most of it, and we just had to buy a new pair of trainers, iirc (and we never bought branded trainers for PE, so that wasn't too bad). The second time, none of the stuff turned up until months later, so we had to replace the whole lot - which cost about £125 - and the school did absolutely nothing to stop this 'prank'. Thank God we'd not bought him a tracksuit - that alone cost £60, if I remember right!

Thankfully the school that the dses attend now (in scotland) has a very basic PE kit - plain shorts, t-shirt and rugby boots/trainers depending on what they are going to do that day. The only rule is that no football colours can be worn (to prevent disputes - we live near Glasgow, and the Old Firm, Celtic/Rangers rivalry can still be a very sore point).

OP - I remember stuff belonging to the dses and their friends going missing at primary school. Things do get taken home by accident, but it genuinely seems as if some parents see this as some sort of bonus, and hang onto the items rather than returning them, which appalled me, and still does. I hope your son's stuff does turn up, but I would echo the advice to send him in with very inexpensive, plain kit - definitely not new season, precious football or rugby strips.

welshbyrd Tue 14-Jun-11 10:19:44

Thanks for all the replies, they have seemed to make me less angry.

A friend at the school this morning suggested having DSs name printed on back of his football tops etc, he has a very unusual name so its less likely to be lost/stolen

Stilled stunned though, that a whole bag and contents have been missing for months, and still have not turned up confused

welshbyrd Tue 14-Jun-11 10:20:20

still* gosh its to early blush

Gingefringe Tue 14-Jun-11 10:33:44

Has this happened to other kids at the school?

Perhaps you should speak to the school to try to get them to change their policy on the PE kit so that only plain (cheap) kits are used - ie no current sports tops etc. If everyone was in plain kit you wouldn't feel that your son had to 'conform' to the current trends to be accepted.

valiumredhead Tue 14-Jun-11 10:37:03

I'd suggest sending him in with plain white T shirt and black shorts and see if that goes missing. Surely not a good idea to send in expensive stuff anyway?

I agree!

I have had ds's school jumpers missing and I have ransacked the school looking for them - given up and bought new - only to find on the last day of term they miraculously turned up on the lost property table hmm God only knows which school cupboard they'd been poked in to!

I use a SHARPIE marker pen and write his name on the inside of the collars now - this has cut down on things being lost.

NunTheWiser Tue 14-Jun-11 10:53:53

Don't bother with name tags. Write his name in permanent black marker on his stuff. We've noticed a marked reduction in the stuff that gets "lost" at school since we did this.

moosemama Tue 14-Jun-11 10:53:53

Thanks welshbyrd, my ds has Aspergers and unfortunately the bullies noticed this fact well before I managed to get the school to recognise it. It has been dealt with a few times and the worst perpertrator has now stopped - thank goodness, but it seems to move in cycles with one particular child (who has his own problems and uses bullying ds to make himself feel better). We are on a good patch at the moment after a recent formal complaint and hoping that will be the end of it.

Ds was assessed for dyspraxia, but tested on the cut off point for getting a diagnosis. He is spectacularly good at 'forgetting' where he left things, but there was no way his coat could have just been lost, given where it was found in the end.

I do understand your need to do everything you can to help your ds fit in, we feel the same. Fortunately our school has a very strict uniform, that stipulates plain black shorts, plain white tshirt, and plain black joggers and sweat top for PE. Even with that, there is still scope for competition with trainers, but we've made a point of not buying into that one, as whatever you buy it'll be out of fashion in a matter of weeks. I just try to make sure I buy his clothes from somewhere 'acceptable' but not uber trendy, like Next or M&S, most of the other children's clothes come from similar stores, so then there's nothing that marks him out as visibly different. Is there no uniform at your ds's school then? That does make it much harder.

With ds, we've found it helps to sign him up for things like the Lego club that others in his year are also signed up for, so they have something in common to chat about - likewise with certain Nintendo Ds games etc (although we only allow age appropriate ones, despite some of his peers having much older games). It doesn't help that he has absolutely no interest in football though, as most of his peers are following a team. We try to keep abreast of whatever he tells us is the 'thing' in the playground and the moment and consider how we can help him use that to blend in a bit more - eg he's never actually watched Dr Who or Star Wars, as he has a TV and Film phobia, but he's read magazines and books about them and knows enough to chat with his peers about the plot and characters etc. All he boys were really into the Beano for a long time, so we bought him a subscription for his birthday and that worked well too. Being into computer games really helps a lot, as its his obsessional topic, so the others actually come to him for advice on them. We've also done all the top trumps and gogo crazy bones crazes as well over the years. hmm

It does seem a bit odd that the whole bag has gone missing - but I've lost count of the the number of times I've asked ds to check lost property, only for him to swear he's done it and it wasn't there, but then have found the missing item myself at the end of term when they put the tables out. Everything is labelled, but the school have a policy on putting everything straight into lost property, even if they know the child it belongs to. hmm I have been known to go to the office and ask if I could go through the lost property bins myself - would that be worth a try?

Ds2 was insistent last Friday that his jumper had gone missing off his peg - I found it screwed up in the bottom of his bag on Monday morning. hmm

From my experience so far, boys are less competitive about clothes etc than girls - I'm dreading it when dd starts school.

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