Campus technology faces abuse

Tech specialists such as Mr. Leirer often have to remedy the damage brought to the campus technology.

Ian Raybon

Tech specialists such as Mr. Leirer often have to remedy the damage brought to the campus technology.

Jordan Toomey, Staff Reporter

When most people think of misuse of technology on campus, the thought often turns to sending inappropriate messages or going to blocked sites during school. However, a completely new kind of abuse is taking place on campus; physical abuse to technology that can lead to a disruption in learning.

“On a weekly basis, keyboards are being damaged, the kids are popping off the keys,” campus technology integrator Donna Lusby said. “It makes it to where we can’t use them and we constantly have to replace them.”

The technology is not only being broken; some of it is going missing altogether.

“We’ve had a couple of things technology-wise that have disappeared,” principal Chris Mayfield said. “Some of [the technology], it’s most likely that it was taken. There’s two iPads from the library that are missing.”

Even though the abuse is widespread, the school is doing what it can to prevent any further damage.

“We’ve done some things, encouraging teachers to lock their doors and pay more attention,” Mayfield said.

While students may not think much about the technology abuse, stealing and damaging school property can have a negative impact.

“It costs money to replace [the damaged or stolen technology], so we can’t use that money to buy new technology, or different technology,” Lusby said. “Instead we have to replace what the students are tearing up. If they can’t use the technology, if they’re trying to get their work done or their assignments completed, then that affects their education.”

The technology abuse extends to simple misuse as well.

“I have music Fridays, so on music Friday they’re allowed to listen to music from SoundCloud or from their phone when they work on their projects,” technology teacher Robert Lichtsheidl said. “But a lot of students are sneaky and they just plug in their phones and turn them upside down so I can’t tell they’re listening to music, or they’ll have Soundcloud on and they’ll have the website minimized so I can’t tell that they’re listening to it.”

While this doesn’t qualify as a criminal offense, there are drawbacks to this disobedience.

“The main thing that I have with it is that I do a lot of video tutorials, and it’s pretty hard to listen to a video tutorial while you’re listening to a song at the same time,” Lichtscheidl said. “And then [the students] get distracted and then I have to reteach it 25 different times, so that’s my main issue with it.”

Although those abusing or misusing technology may not think it makes a difference in the grand scheme of things, many students feel differently.

“I think people choose to steal and/or damage our technology because they don’t care about it,” junior Jost Luebbe said. “They don’t appreciate its value enough. And it’s not cool for me since I now don’t have that technology or it’s broken, which just hurts my learning.”