I’ve been going over some experiences in my past and this one case is perplexing me as to what my moral responsibilities are.
When I was a teenager in high school, I was fooling around one day after school, and for fun I wanted to see if I could pick a lock to one of the classrooms. We weren’t trying to steal anything, it was just for fun to see if I could do it for a room we usually hung out in after school when the teacher was usually there. Stupid, I know, but I was 15.
Long story short the paperclip broke and got stuck in the lock. The next morning it hadn’t gotten fixed, but after my first two periods I walked by and everything seemed fixed as the room was open. At that point I assumed a custodian or someone was able to get it out without much trouble. But later in the day a friend mentioned they had to replace the lock, I don’t know this for sure, and I don’t know if he was just assuming this, or if he knew this for sure himself, but it kind of upset me because I was concerned that maybe I would have to make restitution for this.
I brought this situation up to my father at the time and he told me not to worry about it because ultimately as it was a public school, we could view it as his tax dollars that were paying for any replacements if there were actually any. I brought it up in confession around that time and the priest never even acknowledged my concern about the restitution element.
So what should I do? I don’t even know for sure if there was damage that cost the school money, if there was I don’t know how much, and even if I made an uneducated estimate how would I go about doing this? I feel like if I walked up to the school nearly a decade later with $100 (just a wild estimate that seems safe) for some lock that may or may not have been broken years ago, they’d think I was crazy.