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Theft, Vandalism, and Destruction Weighs on the Barlow PE Department

Britney Henderson
The weight room has seen various damages in the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year including a lat pull that is broken beyond repair.

The Barlow weight room is utilized for strength and conditioning classes as well as a place where Barlow athletes and their teams train. Each year, the weight room faces certain amounts of damage that come with wear and tear, but as the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year comes to an end, the Barlow weight room has become a central location for theft and vandalism.

Stolen weights and athletic bands, defaced walls, and broken equipment are only a few devastations Barlow PE and health teacher Neil Collins and PE and strength and conditioning coach Dave Head have observed in the space. “We all [the PE department] just kind of shake our heads when things go missing or get broken,” Collins shares.

As an elective, the strength and conditioning classes consist of those who forecast for the class and arrive prepared to work out, as well as those who are there simply because they need the elective credit. Collins explains, “The class sizes are too big, and trying to run workouts and monitor everyone is just too hard.” 

The weight room is closed off to students without a teacher or coach present, leaving the cause to be those in the strength and conditioning classes or athletes who use the weight room with their teams. Coach Head ensures a large number of students are always doing what they are supposed to, but even a select few can have a lasting impact on the space. Unfortunately, those who do not want to be in strength and conditioning to work out commonly leave the general workout area for the back room that holds further equipment, or jokingly misuse the equipment and damage it beyond use.

The solution the PE department has advocated for is changing strength and conditioning to be a teacher-approval elective. As a result, only those who forecast for the elective will be considered to take the class, and PE department teachers can approve or deny a student for the class based on participation and interest. Not only will changing strength and conditioning to be based on teacher approval reduce class sizes, but it will increase the productivity of the class and the effectiveness of workouts.

“We in the PE department feel like it’s a privilege to use the equipment provided and its quality,” Collins shares, “It’s expensive and takes time to replace.” Until the proposed solution is implemented, teachers and coaches have to modify their workouts to take into consideration the machines and equipment that no longer work or have been stolen.

In the end, students are disrespecting the property of the school, but they are also hurting their fellow peers.

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Britney Henderson
Britney Henderson, Editor in Chief

Hi I’m Britney! I am a Senior and this is my second year on the Bruin Banner. I enjoy reading and writing. Outside of school I love playing softball and paddle boarding!

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