by Jolene Toves
Guam - Less than one week into the new school year and already thieves have started targeting our schools.
According to Benevente Middle School principal Dexter Fullo, a set of lost janitorial keys led to four classrooms being broken into. The break in was reported to GPD yesterday morning. Fullo told KUAM News that while there were no signs of vandalism several items had been taken; amongst those items are a laptop, small speaker system, and women's shoes.
Last school year alone, a total of 42 breakins were reported to doe schools with damages close to $340,000, resulting in the implementation of the Secure Our Schools Act.
DOE deputy superintendent Rob Malay said, "There's two separate issues going on the one that you are referring to is the Secure Our Schools Act of 2013 and that one is currently in process over at GSA."
While the Secure Our School Act provides $1.28 million for security up to seven years for our island's public schools, DOE is also moving forward with an internal RFP, which opened today. "There's a second RFP that we are doing internally here at DOE using and it's to protect our federally funded equipment the investments that have been made through federal funds we are getting security to lock them up and make sure they are safe while they are on our school campuses," he explained.
The RFP seeks to provide security for all 40 DOE schools. While the RFP and Secure Our Schools Act are still in process, Fullo says BMS is equipped with cameras and all evidence of the break-in has been turned over to GPD.
According to Fullo as a precaution locks on the doors will be changed. It is incidence such as these that warrant our island's school system to be proactive in securing our school grounds in an effort to ensure our youths' education is not hampered.
We should note that the keys used in the burglary were located in an condemned building on the school grounds.