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Parents who shamelessly steal school uniform and coats

(209 Posts)
lottieandmia Thu 29-Dec-16 00:49:21

How widespread is this really? I'm in the midlands btw.

My children have been to a number of different schools and when my 13 year old dd started at a very expensive girls school (on a scholarship and bursary) where the parents are many of them rich (and I mean really rich), suddenly her stuff all started to go missing. She had her new pullover stolen and therefore didn't have one to wear because they were £30 each and I could only afford to buy one. Her new PE trousers lifted out of her kit bag as well as other pieces of kit that are all very expensive.

I got really sick of it as she would turn her back for half a minute and something would be gone. The children in her class would help themselves to her stationary without asking. And then a brand new very nice water bottle went missing. I emailed her teacher and asked if an email could be sent out to all the girls in her year and also parents to say that we would like it returned. Sure enough it turned up on a shelf, left no doubt by the anonymous thief who had been guilted into returning it. Dd2 is no longer at this school and the constant stealing (and it wasn't just us it happened to) was one reason why. She is now at a state school with far more students and so far nothing has been taken and no student touches her stuff.

Dd3 is starting a new school next week and I am now paranoid about stuff going missing. Hopefully my experience with above school is a one off but I have heard a lot on MN about uniform thieves who help themselves to stuff from lost property.

Sorry to go on about this but it is my pet hate. What makes people think this is an acceptable way to behave? If I write names with sharpie I feel as though I appear paranoid or mistrustful. I feel as though I shouldn't have to do this and a name label should suffice. Sad isn't it?

scaryteacher Thu 29-Dec-16 00:52:56

Sharpie away, and name tapes sewn on the outside of sports kit also prevents it being nicked, as it's obvious to whom it belongs. It also helps the staff if stuff is named.

WorraLiberty Thu 29-Dec-16 00:54:42

Ahh the old chestnut..."Honestly Mum I left my jumper on the peg and it just vanished". "My PE joggers got nicked from my bag. I never left them in the changing rooms I swear".

Loosely translated as "Oh fuck. I left it in the playground/changing room again and Mum's going to be furious"...

Do you not think that's a lot more likely than 'really rich' people scheming up a master uniform robbery plan?

junebirthdaygirl Thu 29-Dec-16 00:58:01

I'm in lreland bit had the same problem here. One ds went to regular secondary, never had a thing taken. Other one was in a private school and stuff was constantly taken. Even with names clearly written on inside. Expensive blazers were the worst. To be honest l eventually told him he would have to find a blazer in school as l wasn't buying another one and l turned a blind eye to the name inside. He said guy had finished the school! My oldest guy literally never had a pen taken in spite of a lot of children coming from difficult circumstances. I never could figure out how they both differed so much.

Wookiecookies Thu 29-Dec-16 00:59:06

Worra... spot on there! grin

lottieandmia Thu 29-Dec-16 01:00:18

Worra - well it's funny how things went missing weekly at that school but not in the other two schools she attended hmm

The school has a stealing culture. A child stole charity money and that was never properly addressed.

lottieandmia Thu 29-Dec-16 01:02:05

The first school she went to was also a private school btw. Nothing ever stolen there. Occasionally things would get mixed up which is to be expected. It's not a private / state thing. It's a school ethos thing and whether they try to pretend it's not happening.

WorraLiberty Thu 29-Dec-16 01:02:50

Perhaps in the other two schools she attended, the office staff/playground/PE staff were hotter about returning lost stuff to the kids straight away?

Either way, if all that stands between you and less lost/stolen items is a Sharpie pen, what's the problem with using one?

lottieandmia Thu 29-Dec-16 01:17:04

Nothing really I just think labels look neater.

LindyHemming Thu 29-Dec-16 01:23:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

interalia21 Thu 29-Dec-16 01:29:22

It doesnt stop though. When I was at university many years ago, the students on PE specialty teaching degrees needed university branded PE kit. It was expensive and had the uni logo on it all and they had to have it. A jacket was about £80.

One of my hall mates found one lying in the common room and it was un name tagged. She said I think this is mine and she hadnt come in with it when we got to the common room. When she got back to her room her jacket was there and she laughed and said right I have 2 jackets now, I wont need a replacement for the full degree course. We told her how wrong she was and she actually laughed that one other student was bereft that she lost her sport jacket. I wish I had gone and told the girl who had her jacket but my friend just would have denied it.

Such behavior is a disgrace.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 29-Dec-16 01:41:30

But I think it IS the responsibility of the parents to return items with the wrong names in, when they find them. Unless the children are doing their own washing, or the parents never notice that the name is wrong (and I would because I'm always looking for stains/marks/ tears etc.) then I would expect that, if they saw the wrong name on an item of uniform, they would ensure it was returned to the school.

It could just be a mistake, but if my child repeatedly came home with not-their uniform, then I would be having words with them about it! AND making sure it all went back.

You could always get their name embroidered onto the front of their blazer/jumper/ pe shirt etc.

lottieandmia Thu 29-Dec-16 01:43:53

Well, to be clear I have heard from other people that parents take coats from pegs which don't belong to their child and sell them on eBay.

My own experience is children who think they can just help themselves to whatever they fancy. The fact they would unzip my daughter's bag when she was in the loo shows they don't have any boundaries.

lottieandmia Thu 29-Dec-16 01:45:39

'But I think it IS the responsibility of the parents to return items with the wrong names in, when they find them.'

Quite. If any of my dd's come home with the wrong PE top or whatever I wash it and return it to school.

LindyHemming Thu 29-Dec-16 01:48:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PyongyangKipperbang Thu 29-Dec-16 02:05:29

If you dont sharpie then you are an idiot tbh. I make a point of marking uniform in a place where it isnt going to be checked.

OK, steal my DDs blazer and claim I am making baseless accusations. But why is my DD;s name written in large letters down the sleeve lining and can only be seen when its turned inside out? I learned an expensive lesson when DS1 went to high school but never again.

ghostspirit Thu 29-Dec-16 02:10:03

Things at my children's primary school get stolen. Parents will cut the labels out of jumpers ect..

RhodaBorrocks Thu 29-Dec-16 02:12:24

My stuff used to get stolen and it was all part of a widespread bullying campaign because I was a swot .

DS recently had a jumper go 'missing' and I found it a few days later with his name carefully scribbled out. What they didn't know was it was named on the inside label too. I took it home, cut out the defaced label and sharpied the inside of the jumper.

My DM was going through lost property for DS stuff once with another Mum who said "Oh this jumper is nicer and newer than my DS's and it's not got a name in, so I'll just take this one!" DM could not believe it. DS recently came home with an almost new unnamed jumper in the next size up. A friend actually told me to put it away for DS to grow into! Nope, it went back the next day and DS put it in lost property. DS doesn't grow fast and we currently have 4 school jumpers that are still good to wear so I don't stress over lost ones (not to mention I can afford to replace them now), but there was a time when he only had 1 and I couldn't afford another!

We live in a particularly naice area. Some people are just scumbags.

TitaniasCloset Thu 29-Dec-16 02:18:14

The parents need to take responsibility. I just can't fathom washing an item I knew was not my child's then not turning it in. How very odd.

Oblomov16 Thu 29-Dec-16 02:44:49

Disagree with worra. Think that is a separate issue. I do believe this goes on. A lot. I have no idea why other parents do it/don't return labelled items. Very odd.

Scabetty Thu 29-Dec-16 03:23:53

Of course kids lose stuff and lots of it isn't labelled so difficult to reunite with owner. And I can spend all day looking for Fred's Batman hat cos it's new and no-one else could have the same. However, there are the blatant stealers ... new shoes taken from assembly hall, new shirt from changing room peg which was under blazer, brown coat left behind and brand new blue coat taken in error?! That was returned after a phonecall from school secretary who was also victims mum.

CrazyCavalierLady Thu 29-Dec-16 03:26:29

I work in schools, in management, but dealing with these sort of issues comes up in our meetings regularly. I have no sympathy for people who refuse to label items, nor those who send or allow expensive items of clothing, equipment, etc to come to school unlabelled (or toys and jewellery which are banned) then want to complain that items are missing or stolen.

Despite most parents insistence that items are stolen, Worra is correct, the vast majority are left lying around over chairs, on port racks, on the ground, in toilets. Our cleaners collect them on their daily rounds and put them in lost property bins. A volunteer regularly sorts and returns labelled items. At the end of each term we send 100s of unmarked items to goodwill.

At one school I work at there are seven pairs of prescription glasses in their Strongroom. Photos have been added to the weekly newsletter yet none have been collected.

Label your property in inconspicuous areas and/or prominently in white paint pen (a personal favourite) and teach your children to value and care for the items you buy them.

Fozzleyplum Thu 29-Dec-16 03:45:34

This happened at DS's previous (independent) prep school. I mark everything with a sharpie, including on the garment itself so that the labelling can't be removed. That didn't prevent his brand new trainers, with DS's name very clearly marked on the inside sole and tongue, disappearing on the first day. They were returned, completely trashed, 2 terms later, by the boy's mother. They had been worn outside school, as they were white indoor trainers which the children would never have worn outside at school. DS's name was still clearly visible.

Oblomov16 Thu 29-Dec-16 05:34:10

Sorry Crazy but your attitude is the very thing that I'm contesting. You treat us like we are stupid.

Yes I know children don't take care of things and leave them lying on chairs, forget them etc. They show a lack of respect to things and thus things frequently get 'lost' when actually they've just been left behind through carelessness.
But these things should go to the lost property bin. And then us mums will regularly rummage through it.
So in theory such items lost would be quickly returned to sender, wouldn't they? Ideally?

But if you lose an good quality, slightly more expensive coat, well labelled, (and no, this hasn't happened to me) you might be cross, as a parent. It's got to be returned eventually though? Right? Nope!
Or my son lost 3 jumpers. Not cheap, from the school uniform shop. Surely they will get back to me eventually? Nope. On our year Facebook group, loads of mums saying similar, where is all this stuff going?
Like odd socks? To the washing basket heaven? Very odd.

Some kids are careless. Things get lost. Ok.

But some stuff is just stolen. On purpose. And your dismissive response, will not convince me otherwise.

Oblomov16 Thu 29-Dec-16 05:40:03

Which white paint pen do you recommend?
Please link.

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