The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

“It breaks my heart,” says Ms. Leonard, Administration Disappointed by Student Raids and Fights at Village Center

One month into school, Ms. Leonard addressed the student body in a tone of disappointment after students raided stores and held fights on local business property, as shown in Instagram posts.

Multiple Instagram posts from September 2023 display snack items that students stole in their CVS “heists.” Videos of Wilde Lake students fighting in the Village Center also circulated on Instagram. 

On October 12, 2023 a Wilde Lake student posted snacks stolen from local CVS with the caption “CVS heist.” Post from Instagram.

Senior Ethan says that students’ behavior is disrespectful to the workers in the village center. They say that this disrespect is breaking apart the broader community. “We should be nicer to the people in the Village Center. The community needs to be more put together and not literally breaking apart because people are stealing things.” 

Ms. Leonard fears that these businesses will no longer want to partner with Wilde Lake following the disruptive student behavior. “If we are disrupting their ability to be able to make a living, then there’s no incentive for them to partner with us to support our students,” said Ms. Leonard.

Senior Kendall says that it “should not come to” students stealing from the Village Center. “Please do not steal from a small business, especially after everything they do for us in the community,” said Kendall.

Though it is not the majority of the students causing these disruptions in the Village Center, Ms. Leonard said, “It is only a few students causing these disruptions, but people think this represents lots more students.”

Junior Charlie is disappointed in his peers, saying that their actions are damaging Wilde Lake’s reputation. “People always have something to say about Wilde Lake, but all these fights are just proving them right,” says Charlie. 

Kendall says that the fighting in the village center shines a bad light on Wilde Lake. “This perpetuates the bad reputation that Wilde Lake gets, which is unnecessary. We are a really great school, and we have a really great community around us, but things like this perpetuate this bad reputation.”

According to Vice Principal Mr. Molin, all Howard County campuses are closed campuses, so students are not permitted to leave campus during lunch shifts. Howard County policy also states that students are only permitted to leave campus during the day if an absence is excused. 

Wilde Lake High School is a 4-minute walk away from the Village Center. Therefore, many students report using this proximity as a pull factor to the Village Center during school and after school hours. 

On September 20, 2023 students record a fight after school at Wilde Lake Village Center. Photo from Instagram.

In an attempt to prevent student disruption, some businesses have only allowed three students in their store at a time, made students leave their backpacks outside, hired a security guard, or completely banned students. Mr. Molin says that Wilde Lake has been working to keep students in school and out of the village center during school hours.  Wilde Lake has “staff members placed at different exits to make sure no one is doing anything they shouldn’t be doing and making sure everyone remains safe,” according to Mr. Molin.

Junior Richie is not phased by these policies. He said that the consequences of his actions are not significant enough to stop them from raiding. “Even if they catch me stealing, the consequences aren’t that bad,” says Richie. 

Maddie, a Wilde Lake student, says that her actions have little consequences because they do not directly impact the workers’ pay. “They get paid regardless, and us taking stuff isn’t gonna make them go out of business,” said Maddie.

Similarly to Maddie, Wildecat Molly says that her actions have little direct impact. She says that because she was off of school property while fighting, they do not “care” about the consequences. “She was just there, and I told her it was on sight. It wasn’t even on school property,” said Molly.

Senora Sweitzer, a Wilde Lake Alumni and Staff member, wants students to know that their actions impact the entire community.  “It comes down to Ohana. You have to embrace the community. It impacts everyone, and it can come back down to you. It’s one of life’s rules: treat people the way you would want to be treated.”

             Names in this story do not belong to actual Wilde Lake students. Sources have been kept anonymous.

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