It was discovered Wednesday morning that money made during Tuesday’s Hot Dog Economic Sale was stolen from the stands’ cash boxes.
History Department Chair and Economics teacher Clark Thomson made an announcement after Meeting for Worship on Wednesday explaining that he “put the boxes [locked in his room]” and then he left for the day to go to a doctor’s appointment. Thomson said that after his Wednesday morning meeting reviewing the event with Economics teacher Jake Greenberg, the two went down to his classroom to see how the students had done financially.
“We found that in most of the boxes the 20 [dollar bills] and 10 [dollar bills] were missing, presumably to avoid detection [that money was missing],” Thomson told the Upper School.
A source with direct knowledge of the situation told WordsWorth that according to a group’s spreadsheet tracking sales, the group was supposed to have over $150 in their box. After the theft, it had just slightly over $50, a loss of more than $100. The student added that many of the groups are experiencing the same substantial losses, making the total amount of stolen money hundreds of dollars.
In an interview, Thomson said “all boxes were targeted besides one, and that box had the cash tray on top of the money, so unless [the thief] picked up the tray, they wouldn’t have seen the money in the box.”
Hot dog stands stopped operating at 1:25pm, and either the groups or Thomson brought back the cash boxes to his classroom, according to Thomson. He added: “during my [1:42 class] I was running back and forth [from the courtyard] making sure everything [for the event clean up] was handled…then between [the 2:24 and 2:28 class transition time] I probably went down and got a coffee [from the teacher’s lounge] and probably did that again at the end of last period.” Thomson clarified the boxes were only unattended during those two transition times, and he locked the door before leaving for a Doctor’s appointment at 3:40pm.
“When I first opened the box, I thought the boxes had been switched because I knew we had made more money than [what was in the box],” said Senior and member of Top Dogs Emily Mitchell. Senior and member of Chien Fantaisie Sujin Kim remarked that she remembered getting change for a $20 during the event so she knew definitively that there should have been a $20 in the box, which there wasn’t.
After announcing the news to an awe-filled, dead silent Meeting House, Thomson called the stealing “poisonous to the community, poisonous to the students of the class who were outside in the cold selling hot dogs for two hours, and poisonous to the people [who were going to benefit from our microloans] in Kiva,” an organization that allows anyone to “help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential,” according to Kiva’s website.
Following Thomson’s remarks in Meeting for Worship, Dean of Students Mike Brunswick said that “the trust has left the building.” Thomson and Brunswick encouraged any students with information to come forward to either Brunswick or Upper School Director Meredith Godley. “Also poisonous to our community is gossip and disinformation, so if you think you know something — don’t spread it amongst your friends, bring forward the information,” said Thomson.