Homecoming ends with shattered glass for adviser


Claire Gilliland and Helen Le

After this year’s Homecoming dance, English teacher and student government advisor Laura LaRue’s car was damaged in the Bear Creek parking lot while LaRue was finishing cleaning up.

LaRue noticed the damage when she left at around 12:30 that Sunday morning.

“I walked out to the parking lot and saw that the back window and the driver’s side window [of my car] had both been bashed, and next to the car there was a very old, rusty tire jack that was laying on the ground and it looks like that’s what they used to bash in my windows,” LaRue said.

Security had left shortly after the dance at around 11:30, before LaRue was finished cleaning up. Admin, too, had left once students were gone.

“After the event, I’m not sure that [security guards] are liable for a lot of that, since the cameras were on and the cameras were doing their job, so it was recorded… it was just after the event,” senior Spencer Fulgham and son of LaRue said.

“[While there is security provided], they’re really just school employees with the title ‘security’… I don’t think they’re armed with any special weapons or abilities or ninja skills… we didn’t have any security like that on campus and we usually don’t for dances,” La Rue said. “I don’t want to make any security guards mad by making them feel like I called them inadequate because that wasn’t what I was trying to do…. I totally trust our school security guards.”

LaRue and Vice Principal Sera Baysinger watched security video tapes to see if they could find out who had damaged her car. However, the footage offered no conclusive answer.

“There were… two cars in the parking lot, including mine,” LaRue said. “[Another car] stopped at the first one, looked at that one and then got to mine and then the video glitched out or he got too far from the motion sensor so that car disappeared, so we never actually saw anyone get out and hurt the windows.”

More security could be a solution to help prevent further incidents such as LaRue’s car damage.

“I think it would be very beneficial, whenever we have an event on campus, … there needs to be security here while we are still on campus, and that’s for student and staff safety alike,” LaRue said

Security most likely left before everyone was gone because they were paid by the hour.

“[Who pays for security] depends on [the] type of school events,” LaRue said. “The site has a budget for the Stockton police department, but the budget’s only so large, so like large football games, Powderpuff, graduation, money is spent on those events to have the police department there. Other than that, it has to come out of [the budget of] whatever group is putting on the event.”
Others believe that Lodi Unified District should pay for security at school events, for the safety of both students and staff members.

“The district [should be paying for school security],” Fulgham said.

In the future, LaRue hopes to be able to increase the security at dances.

“For me, what I will pursue for the next dance that we put on, is… investing in a security company, if possible, that we could hire [from],” LaRue said. “There are some facilitation problems that I might run into with hiring an outside security company with the district, but I haven’t gotten that far yet, so… I don’t know.”