Thieves recently stole two trailers used to provide auxiliary services at Dallas Independent School District (DISD) campuses, affecting countless students and teachers.
The first theft happened on February 7, when unidentified suspects stole a trailer and mobile STEM lab from a storage facility in South Dallas.
“All of the supplies for the afterschool program was [sic] on there … It completely derailed everything we had going on,” said Branden Williams of the education nonprofit Seeds 2 STEM, who spoke with WFAA.
Seeds 2 STEM and other nonprofits like it provide education services to campuses all over North Texas, allowing students to get extra hands-on lab experience and become more interested in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.
“We want kids to know science is fun,” Williams told NBC 5. “Many of my science teachers back in the day were not cool. They didn’t know how to make the real-world connections, and I want to change that.”
Unfortunately for Williams and North Texas students, the theft of the nonprofit’s mobile lab forced him to immediately cancel 40 scheduled events around the area.
The second stolen trailer belonged to Travis Allen. The trailer had been outfitted for teachers to use in team-building exercises and to learn coping mechanisms, as many suffer from high stress on the job.
“It’s been on the road six months. It’s pretty devastating; it’s very devastating, actually,” Allen said to NBC 5.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, property crimes skyrocketed at the end of 2022, offsetting small but significant declines in reported violent crime and resulting in a net increase of roughly 100 criminal offenses, according to the City of Dallas Open Data crime analytics dashboard.
The Dallas Express reached out to DISD and asked what kind of impact these thefts would have on district students, many of whom struggle academically, despite the best efforts of the district’s teachers.
A spokesperson for DISD stressed to The Dallas Express that students would still be provided with essential instruction by the district, even without additional hands-on instruction and tutorials provided by Williams.