District acts to protect students from thieves by keeping iPads at school
Superintendent Doug Heuer briefs the media on district plans to keep iPads at school.
As of Oct. 19, middle school students in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will no longer take home their school-issued iPads.
Doug Heuer, district superintendent, said the district is instituting the change in an effort to stop a pattern of theft that has unfolded over several weeks, as students have been robbed of the iPads on their way to and from school.
The district’s priority, said Heuer, is to keep students safe.
“As long as they are being preyed upon,” said Heuer, “our students will no longer take the iPads off school property. The students will use them during the school day, and then secure them in assigned charging stations at the end of the day.”
The superintendent made the statement in an Oct. 19 media briefing held at the board of education office in University Heights, and via conference call to reporters who phoned in to hear the statement.
Heuer said, “We hope that by spreading the word [that] our students will no longer carry iPads, they will no longer be the targets of these thieves.”
“In the past two weeks,” said Heuer, “more than a dozen middle school students at Wiley, Monticello and Roxboro middle schools have had their iPads stolen while either walking to or from school. Thankfully, all of them cooperated when asked for their iPads.”
Parents were notified about the situation through an automated phone call on Oct. 19 and a letter sent home with students that day, as well as mailed to their homes.
Heuer said the school district began issuing technology aids to students in 2009, and expanded the program to all middle school students in 2010. The district started by issuing MacBooks, and Heuer noted there had been “no pattern of theft until we rolled out the Apple iPad this fall."
According to Heuer, the district and police are using the Apple-provided tracking system for the iPads, but thieves know how to disable it. Heuer said that the district would continue to work with the police departments of Cleveland Heights, University Heights and South Euclid to find the thieves.
The students will continue to use the iPads at school, as part of the curriculum there. Heuer noted, “Many students have become more engaged in and excited about learning because of this tool. Unfortunately, thieves have taken some of these tools out of our students’ hands.”
Heuer asks anyone with information about the thefts to come forward and contact police authorities and the district.
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer. She lives in the Shaker Farm Historic District in Cleveland Heights.