Teachers concerned over string of break-ins at school

by: Richard Belcher Updated:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga.,None - Channel 2 Action News has learned that burglars have broken into 11 temporary classrooms at a single DeKalb County High School.

A parent called Channel 2's Richard Belcher to complain about the lack of security for the trailers at Chamblee Charter High School.

Three teachers told Belcher Wednesday they were very discouraged by the initial response from school officials.

The teachers said six separate temporary classroom trailers were burglarized in a single weekend recently, and the message they got from the top was there's not much we can do.

Jennifer Tinnell, Theresa Abernathy and Tina Staten met with Belcher on their lunch break.

All three teach history at Chamblee, which is in the middle of a $70 million demolition and construction project that won't be finished until 2013.

The teachers said they and other teachers are working in a cluster of 32 temporary classroom units that have been easy pickings for burglars.

There were five break-ins over the Labor Day weekend, six more over Columbus Day weekend.

Even more distressing, they said, was the system's response.

"There was not a lot of encouraging news. We weren't really given much hope, really, for anything to be replaced or anything really to change," Abernathy said.

"Well, I don't see any reason for it not to happen again if they don't take any additional measures to try to protect what we have out there," Staten said.

The chief spokesman for the district told Belcher security for the temporary classrooms is being upgraded.

"(We) have installed new fencing, new locks and we're putting in motion sensor alarms to protect the property of the school district," Walter Woods with DeKalb County Schools said.

"And we just want to feel secure. We want to know the county is going to try to deter something like this from happening again," Tinnell said.

Bryant Smith sent Channel 2 Action News some pictures that showed how the thieves were able to break in to several of the trailers, but school officials asked they not be shown. The pictures did show, however, the thieves knew what they were doing.