Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
My name is Theresa Carter and my son is a freshman at Manteca High School. On Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 my son was running late to his sixth period gym class. When he arrived, the locker room was locked, he had to change in the boys bathroom, and was told by the student teacher to leave his backpack next to the bleachers in the gym. At the end of class, to my son’s horror, his backpack was stolen. Not only did the backpack contain the clothes he wore to school that day, it had his wallet inside.
Now, this may seem trivial as a high school student usually only has his student identification and a couple of dollars. This was not the case. As his father is trying to teach him life skills, my son was given a Chase student debit card. You know, the kind that can be used like a credit or ATM card.
When my son’s father arrived on the Manteca High campus to report the incident, he was informed that the resource officer was not on site and neither was the vice principal, so he left a message to have the vice principal call him. After going to the bank and reporting the stolen card, my son’s father had still not heard from the vice principal and left two additional urgent voicemails hoping for a response.
Wednesday morning came and there was still no response from the resource officer or the vice principal, so my son’s father went to school again and waited in person to speak with someone regarding the theft. Upon the arrival of the vice principal, my son was asked if he knew if any of the 50 students in his class were known to be “bad kids” so they could try to narrow the suspect list. Mind you, this interview was conducted with the vice principal’s office door open with several other students in the office who could hear the conversation. It wasn’t until after my son answered, “No,” that he decided he should close the door for privacy. After the vice principal took my son’s deposition, my son and his father were informed that he would pass on the information to the resource officer to submit an official police report and conduct an investigation.
On Friday afternoon it was discovered that the perpetrator(s) fraudulently purchased $75 worth of gas at the Shell gas station on Powers and Yosemite, as well as $72 worth of gas at the Beacon gas station on Yosemite and Commerce. (Fraud is a felony punishable up to 20 years in prison.) I called the Manteca Police Department to find out if an official report had been filed, only to be informed that there was not a report on file.
Since we are completely appalled by the audacity of the vice principal ignoring the urgency of the situation we have decided to take matters into our own hands. We are asking for help from the Manteca community to bring these delinquents to justice. At this point, we are willing to have those involved come forward and receive a lesser punishment. If they choose not to come forward, when they are found, and they will be found, they will suffer the consequences to the full extent of the law.
Feb. 28, 2010