What’s Going On in the Computer Lab in the Media Center?

Recent acts of vandalism have sparked school-wide punishments.


The single sheet of paper pasted on the computer lab door is a bit alarming, especially when you hiked up to the media center to print out school documents in the middle of your lunch period. For those of you who are not aware, effective as of March 11th, Academic Magnet students are prohibited from using the computer lab unless under the direction/supervision of a teacher. Why, you might ask? Apparently, there have been some heinous acts of vandalism within the lab during recreational hours throughout the school day. And the culprits? Academic Magnet students.

The offenses include snipping the cords to computer accessories, such as a mouse, and a couple stolen items, as well. This recent explosion of chaos within the computer lab has left media center employees no other choice but than to close up the room altogether, forfeiting other students’ ability to appropriately use the technology provided to them. While this executive decision will undoubtedly eradicate the threat of vandalism, it also prevents high schoolers from accessing computers and printers, especially in much-needed study sessions during study hall periods. For some, the Academic Magnet computer lab has become a respite for the grueling workload enforced by teachers. However, that wonderful sanctuary is now obsolete due to the impulsive acts of criminal vandals.

it truly is a shame that some of us have taken the generosity of school for granted.”

So who is really to blame? It’s always easy to point the finger at the Class of 2020, simply because they are no stranger to school-related scandals. However, a majority of them rarely utilize the computer lab, so the chances of a current Junior is unlikely. Yes, under the oppression of AP Capstone, they are required to read lengthy articles and research sources, but most of them opt for downloading digital PDFs, rather than printing all of that paper. That being said, the Class of 2020 is absolved of culpability, as they deserve the benefit of the doubt just this one time. Aside from giving them a hard time, they simply do not deserve the blame for this unforgivable act.

Depicted above, evidence of the vandalism within the Academic Magnet computer lab. Simply offensive to the eye.

As much as I hate to admit it, this vandalism could be a consequence of adolescent immaturity, making the underclassmen more likely suspects. Regardless of who is truly responsible for these crimes, all grade levels must endure the harsh punishment.

I was fortunate enough to receive permission to enter the lab for an AP French speaking assignment, and the remaining evidence was truly shocking. Lying beside one of the computers was the zenith of the vandalism scandal: the severed cord, accompanied by an abused and battered computer mouse. Upon first sight, it was admittedly comical. However, despite the initial humor found in the crime scene, it is so disappointing to witness the physical products of immaturity and disrespect.

At Academic Magnet, we are fortunate enough to be gifted such a clean facility and tame environment—students in upstate South Carolina would kill to feel so safe in school, where students are undoubtedly well-behaved and respectful of one another. In addition, some high school students are still using eight year old textbooks and lesson plans, and do not have advanced technology at their disposal. That being said, it truly is a shame that some of us have taken the generosity of school for granted. While some may argue that the punishment is way too harsh and is only hurting the good students that appropriately use and rely on the computer lab, this new restriction on the lab seems to be the only resolution to this issue. Optimistically, this act of vandalism and its subsequent consequence will serve as a lesson and warning to unappreciative students out there.