Stealing a phone? That's deep. Normal theft? Not so much.

My phone was stolen Wednesday. Long story short - left a kid I trusted in the office printing coursework, he was accosted by a group I certainly don't trust, and the phone disappeared.

The trustworthy kid understandably didn't want to tell me who it was, but there was a CCTV camera pointing at my office, and once I pointed out this out he gave me a couple of names. Good thing too - at the end of the day I went to get the CCTV footage and was told it was purely for deterrence, apparently it's too expensive to run.

The next day I made an impassioned plea to my tutor group. I told them I didn't expect the phone back, and anyway I had it insured, but I wanted the sim card. I talked about photos that were on it of friends I no longer saw, and messages that meant a lot to me. And whatever you think about fifteen year olds, noone appreciates the loss of text messages more than them!

My plea worked. After lunch registration Lauren and Rhiannon hung around.

"Miss, we talked to some people..."
"And we found out, Miss..."
"Oh Miss, I don't know how to tell you!"
"Miss you aint getting your sim back, we spoke to them and they snapped the sim, and sold it in woolwich for thirty pounds"
"But Miss, I was talking to my mum innit, and we think you're being really brave about it"
"Yeh Miss, it's a lot to loose, there's important stuff on sims, are you ok?"
"I mean, fair enough, I been done for robbing shops, but I would never steal someone's phone, that's their personal stuff, that's deep."

Lauren, who meets with the YOT regularly after being caught shoplifting, could not be more angry at the thieves, or more sympathetic to me. I'm not sure whether this seeming lack of morality depresses me, or whether I should be pleased that even Lauren, who last April was thrown out of home by her alcoholic mother, and came to school in increasingly dirty clothes for a week before I got the truth out of her, can learn empathy.

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